Nick Jones and Scott Malvern will get their British GT4 Championship title defence underway this Easter Bank Holiday weekend at Oulton Park, and will carry the Solseal branding on their reworked Mercedes-AMG GT4.
Ahead of the dawn of a fresh campaign, Nick and Scott will return to the capacity British GT grid as the duo to beat, having enjoyed a stellar run to the GT4 Pro-Am division title aboard their Team Parker Racing-run car last year. Together, the pair achieved two outright Pro-Am victories, and three further podium finishes from the nine rounds, giving them their first British Championship title as a partnership.
For this season, they will face renewed competition from fresh teams, drivers and even cars, with an influx of new entries from brands such as Aston Martin, McLaren, Ford and BMW within the 21-car GT4 field.
However, despite the new challenge, both Nick and Scott feel ready for the season ahead and have benefited from a sizable pre-season testing programme, which has allowed both the drivers and the team to learn more about the awesome 4-litre biturbo Mercedes-AMG.
Nick Jones, who will enter his fifth British GT Championship season, says: “It’s been a long winter, but I can’t wait to get the season started and start living the dream of being a GT4 racer again.
“I’m there to enjoy it this year, and there’s a different feeling about the start of this season. Last year there were a lot of unknowns – where we would fit into the pecking order as a driver pairing, and where the car would fit as it was brand new to us. This year we know our speed, and we know the car’s capabilities too, so we’re starting off on a much surer footing.
“Oulton Park last year was a real mixed bag. We lost points in race one with a braking issue, but then lucked into winning race two outright when rain intervened. If we can leave there this year with the same sort of score as last season, that will be a brilliant start.”
Scott Malvern, who celebrated single-seater titles in British Formula Ford and Formula Renault before joining the GT4 ranks alongside Nick in 2016, says: “We’re starting this year in a much stronger position that last, and from my point of view we need to be aiming to defend our Pro-Am title and seeing how high we can push up the overall championship order.
“It’s going to be a tough year because of the increased number of all-silver [semi-professional] driver entries, but I believe we can take the fight to many of them. Nick has been driving really well pre-season, and some parts of his technique have really clicked. He’s now very close to my own times, which is very promising for the season ahead.
“I love Oulton Park. I’ve had the fastest lap of the weekend twice there in British GT, so I’d like to keep that run going this weekend.”