Ginetta Cars Limited was founded in 1958. The business was an extension of a passion for motor racing and as a result cars produced by the Company were predominantly race or road/race.
The G4 model was unveiled at the Racing Car Show in 1961 and is perhaps the most ‘famous’ model. The G4 was aimed squarely at the club racer who wanted a cost effective weekday road car and a weekend racer. In this it was aided by the new Ford engines which gave it the necessary performance to firstly beat the MGB’s and TR’s before taking on and winning against such exotica as the Jaguar 3.8’s. Such ability soon translated to an escalating tally of race successes at which point the mainstream motoring press took an interest firmly establishing the Ginetta marque on the motoring map.
Success with the G4 prompted ever more ambitious designs and further success with the Imp powered G15 and the Chrysler 1725 powered G21.
Both cars underwent full type approval testing and were available as kits or factory built cars.
In the eighties, Ginetta returned to the kit car market first with an updated G4 model now designated G27 and later with a range of sports saloons including the much loved V8 powered G33.
Today the Company is owned by Lawrence Tomlinson – experienced racing driver and successful businessman – Chairman of the LNT Group. Yet the aims remain much as they ever were – to continue producing innovative, capable and above all, affordable sports cars.
The company celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2008 when it launched the Ginetta G50 in honour of the milestone. It was designed and manufactured alongside Ginetta’s other cars in the company’s new 80,000 square foot factory in Garforth on the outskirts of Leeds, West Yorkshire.
New for 2010, the Ginetta G40 Junior car is specifically built to race in the Ginetta Junior Championship for drivers aged 14 to 17 years old.
Designed to an exceptional standard, the Ginetta G40 Junior provides young drivers with their first opportunity to race cars on the UK’s leading circuits. Lightweight, rear wheel drive and powered by a restricted 1800cc engine, the Ginetta G40 Junior car teaches car control and racecraft.
With an FIA approved strong space frame chassis, the Ginetta G40 offers high protection along with additional safety features such as an FIA approved safety fuel cell and FIA approved seat.
Running on standard Michelin road tyres keeps running costs low for the G40 and promotes good car control for the young drivers.
Only basic setup settings can be changed on the car to race in the Ginetta Junior Championship. Rules and regulations prohibit the modification of any major component of the car. This prevents expensive research and development by competitors in search of extra power and speed and ensures all are identical.
These core ingredients are a recipe for close, thrilling racing between evenly-matched drivers.
Other Ginetta features:
The Ginetta Junior Championship looks set to be a family affair in 2010. The brother and sister Moores head the entry with a new car introduced this season.
Sarah Moore claimed last year’s Ginetta Junior Championship and indeed bagged her first race win here last season in a superb drive that made Sarah the first female winner of a TOCA-support race. A second win followed a day later and her ability to run at the front and score points was crucial in taking the title. For 2010, Sarah, whose elder brother Nigel Moore is a former Ginetta Junior and G50 champion, will have a renewed threat from younger brother David. He was quick last year – and led here, briefly, but with an extra year of car racing under his belt should be a major force to be reckoned with in 2010. With no karting experience, last season was a huge test for 15-year-old David M but he will be a front-runner this year.
Sarah M, meanwhile, is the benchmark driver and as reigning champion the one everyone wants to beat. She improved as a driver as well last year and is being run, as is David, by experienced racer Mike Jordan’s Eurotech Racing squad. With their ability and Jordan’s guidance, this is a formidable team.
But if the Moores aren’t heading the pack, it may well be Jake Hill. A race winner last season, Jake’s season was hampered by a lack of finance, but there is no denying Hill’s speed and if he can curb his occasional over-enthusiasm there is no reason to suggest that he can’t be a champion. Son of former racer turned broadcaster Simon Hill, Jake doesn’t lack for support or advice and certainly put the guidance from his father to good use last year although frustratingly his win came while Hill snr was away at Le Mans!
Alex Austin is another returnee and having secured fourth in the championship last year will be a front-runner once more. Austin was a race winner last season, too, and will be hungry for further success this year, while Chris Swanwick was another driver who developed well over the course of 2009 and will start this season as one of the drivers to beat.
From Junior Rallycross comes Brad Bailey, son of former Rallycross front-runner of the 1980s Paul, and although this is a very different discipline, Bailey knows how to stick out his elbows and race hard. Indeed, he was a title winner last year and proved his ability but these will all be new circuits to him. On his side, though, is the new Ginetta G40, the base model for this year’s championship which levels the playing field between the newcomers and the more experienced drivers.
Add in newcomers Maverick Domene, Seb Morris and Jody Fannin and there are sure to be battles right through the field in the opening double-header of the season.
An added incentive this season is the end of season prize: a test in Andrew Jordan’s Pirtek Racing BTCC Vauxhall Vectra which will allow the champion to showcase their ability. The Ginetta Junior Championship is noted for close and exciting racing and this season will be no different.
Free practice at Thruxton, Hampshire, takes place at 09.55 on Saturday 3rd April with qualifying at 11.45 and race one, over nine laps, at 17.05. Sunday’s race blasts off at 13.30.