SD Sealants-backed racers Nick Jones and Scott Malvern will begin a new era at Brands Hatch this weekend as they aim to restore the Porsche brand to the top of the British GT Championship for the first time in a decade.
Entering what will be their sixth consecutive British GT campaign as a pairing, Jones and Malvern will this time be armed with a new Porsche 911 GT3 R, run by leading GT squad Team Parker Racing.
Jones and Malvern have enjoyed much success in British GT across the years, having lifted the GT4 Pro-Am class championship title in 2018 before graduating to the top GT3 category with a Bentley Continental GT3 last term.
Despite 2020 being a learning campaign, the duo still managed to record an outright race victory at Donington Park, which has laid the foundations for the switch to the Porsche for what will be their first proper tilt at the outright championship.
A vital tweak to the championship’s class structure also stands to benefit Jones and Malvern. The previously dominant Silver Cup entrants (for two semi-professional drivers sharing a car) have been banned for this season, meaning Pro-Am crews like Jones and Malvern will automatically be moved to the front of the field.
Having already racked up vital pre-season mileage with the new Porsche – which included a fourth place on its race debut in the recent GT Cup round at Brands – Jones and Malvern are confident ahead of the British GT opener around the Kent venue’s world-famous Grand Prix Circuit. The pair are determined to get into championship battle and lead the charge for what would be Porsche’s first British championship title since 2012.
Nick Jones said: “I can’t wait to get started this season, and I think we have a real opportunity to achieve something special this season. With the Silver Cup cars gone for this year, Pro-Am crews like us will be going for both outright wins and the championship, and I think we’ve got a very strong package to help us be in the mix this year.
“Last season was difficult. It was my first year of GT3 and there was so much to learn about the cars and the racing. Because of that I don’t feel I really pushed to my full potential. I know we won a race outright, which was great, but this year I want to really challenge myself to take the fight to the guys at the front on a regular basis. Being with Team Parker Racing is brilliant – we’re like a big group of mates going racing together – and the addition of the Porsche 911 GT3 R for this year should be a real boost. The car is incredible to drive and Porsche’s development of it really shows in how easy it’s been to adapt to. I could tell it was right after my first three corners driving it! Overall, I think we have all the ingredients to make this year a really exciting one.”
Scott Malvern added: “I’m absolutely buzzing for this season because I truly believe we’ve now got all the elements we need to put together a championship challenge. Last season was a difficult one. The Bentley was pretty tricky to drive, especially in high-speed corners, and it became quite difficult to build confidence across the year.
“This season is a whole different ballgame. We now undoubtedly have a car to fight for wins underneath us in the Porsche GT3 R. It’s an incredible bit of kit and Nick has taken to it really well already. You can see his confidence growing each time he goes out in it, and in how he approaches each session. I saw the same sort of thing when we were driving the Mercedes-AMG in GT4, and we won the Pro-Am title that season, so the signs are really positive for us this year.
“The Porsche should be a great all-rounder for the British tracks. It’s got superb traction so is really well suited to anything that’s tight, twisty and a bit bumpy. We’ve already got some good miles in before the start of the season, so we’ll be aiming high at Brands Hatch.”
The 2021 Intelligent Money British GT Championship gets underway at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit on May 22/23. Practice and qualifying take place on Saturday, before Sunday’s two-hour race. Live timing is available all weekend via tsl-timing.com, and Sunday’s race will be streamed live across British GT’s website and social media channels.