Fresh from winning the Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup with Tom Oliphant, Century Motorsport will get their 2016 season underway with their first attempt at the gruelling Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai in January.
The Fenny Compton based team are aiming to make a firm impression on the event, fielding two cars for their first participation in the event, their lead car boasting a line-up that combines both 24 Hour experience, speed and consistency – the key ingredients to a strong result in this unique style of racing.
The team’s first car will be piloted over the 1,440 minutes of racing by newly signed 2016 British GT4 pairing Anna Walewska and Nathan Freke. The University of Bolton and Weston’s backed pair will use the event as their first chance to race together ahead of what should be an exciting season for the duo.
Joining Anna and Nathan in the #229 Ginetta will be current Ginetta GT4 SuperCup Champion and 2015 Dubai 24 Hour podium finisher Tom Oliphant, with the continued support of Mulgari Automotive. Completing the #229 line-up for the event will be British GT4 front-runner and Garage15.no supported Norwegian, Aleksander Schjerpen. After a mixed 2015 season in British GT4, Schjerpen will be looking to make a strong start to 2016 for his first ever 24-hour race.
Century Motorsport stalwart Steve Fresle will lead the team’s second entry in the event. Steve made the jump from being a seasoned track day enthusiast in 2015 to compete in the GT Cup championship, before finishing his season with the final three rounds of the Ginetta GT4 SuperCup championship at Brands Hatch.
First to join Steve on the event will be 2016 British GT4 racer David Pattison. Having made his British GT4 debut in 2015, Pattison was the highest GT4 points scorer in the second half of the season and with the support of Gravity Road for this event, will be looking to take this experience to Dubai as he writes another exciting chapter into his motor racing CV.
Completing the line up so far is Dubai 24 Hour veteran Ollie Jackson. Having moved to the Ginetta GT4 Supercup with Century Motorsport this season, Jackson made superb progress throughout the season and was unlucky not to secure more podium finishes than his records will show. Highly experienced around the Dubai Autodrome, including finishing on the podium in the 2015 running of the event, Ollie is the perfect teammate for both Steve and David to learn from.
Anna Walewska - #229 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55: “I'm excited about competing in my first Dubai 24 Hour. What a driver line up we have! I do a lot of work in the Middle East including Dubai, so it will be nice to race there. I've started training for the longer stints and hope my experience of doing the Silverstone 24 Hour races will put me good stead. This is a great way for Nathan and I to kick off the season.”
Tom Oliphant - #229 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55: “I am very much looking forward to racing in the Dubai 24 Hour again next year, having had a great showing in the 2015 race. I want to build on that experience and get the win. I joined up with Century again because they are a great team with a vast knowledge of the Ginetta but also because of the very strong driver line up they put forward. To win Dubai you need a strong driver line up that not only are quick, but are also a very safe pair of hands, which ours is. I am very confident that everyone will see exciting things from our garage next year!”
Aleksander Schjerpen - #229 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55: “I am really looking forward to the 24-hours of Dubai, it´s going to be a very exciting new challenge for me. It will be my first 24-hour race, and on the Dubai Autodrome which I have never driven before. The track looks awesome, and I am both happy and excited to get to drive for Century Motorsport again. I think we have a great team, our driver line-up is going to be very strong, and the Ginetta G55 is a great racecar. So this should be a great way to start off the new season!”
Nathan Freke - #229 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55: “This will be my third 24 Hour race, but my first in Dubai. We've got an incredibly strong driver line up and I'm really looking forward to it. I think we've got a great chance of winning the SP3 class.”
Steve Fresle - #230 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55: “I am really excited, it’s going to be a great way to start the new year, winter sun and racing, what more could you ask for!? We have a great team spirit at Century and for sure above all else we are going to have some fun and enjoy some great racing.”
David Pattison - #230 Century Motorsport Ginetta G55: “I have wanted to be racing driver since I was five years old and its taken me over 50 years to achieve that ambition. Life is about challenges and a 24 Hour race is another big challenge. Almost a full years racing in a 24 Hour period with lots of traffic, driving in the dark, a new set of teammates and a new team. I’m really excited to be adding the Dubai 24 hour to my motor racing experiences.”
Clive Freke – Partner, Century Motorsport: “We are really looking forward to this new challenge. Although it's the first 24 Hour the team has competed in, we have prepared ourselves in the best way possible and have a workforce with history in Le Mans 24 Hour and Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hour. The Ginetta has won the SP3 class for the last five years and with our driver line ups, we hope to be at the very front and hope that one of our two cars will be able to take the top step of the podium.”