Posted on Aug 24th, 2015
Jamie Chadwick, the 17 year old school girl from Cheltenham, has rewritten the history books by winning the British GT GT4 Championship in her Aston Martin V8 Vantage, in her ‘rookie’ year.
Jamie is not only the youngest ever winner of the Championship but also the first ever female. As such, it is also believed that Jamie is the first ever female winner of an international sports car championship. (Not too sure about this, but it can stay)
The Championship win, which she shares with team mate Ross Gunn, 18, came at the end of two tough one hour races at the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk. Race 1 was plagued with technical issues but a 5th place finish kept their title hopes on course. For Race 2 the heavens opened and the race was run under gradually worsening conditions
Jamie took over the car from Ross in 7th place, and was frequently the fastest through the speed traps as she skilfully battled standing water and aquaplaning to steadily move up to 3rd, whilst her closest championship rivals slipped from first to ninth. The race officials sensibly stopped the race early, due to the dangerous conditions, that had seen numerous cars come off the track. Jamie was eventually placed fourth as the final results were calculated from the previous lap.
The Beechdean Aston Martin Racing crew quickly calculated that the Championship lead of 38.5 points was sufficient to give them an unassailable advantage with one race to go, and they couldn’t be caught.
“Wow! It’s certainly been a tough weekend, and conditions in race two were crazy to say the least. But, we came here and did what we had to do! Everyone’s been brilliant, we worked through the technical problems and Ross and I both did a great job without taking too many risks. I felt I could have pushed harder but, fortunately, we didn’t need to and it worked out well!
“Actually, it hasn’t really sunk in yet, but I guess it’s a pretty good achievement and I have so many people to thank for that – obviously my Mum and Dad and my brother Ollie, who have always done so much to support me, Ginetta for the Scholarship that helped establish my racing, and the Beechdean Aston Martin crew, in particular our engineer Dave, who has been just brilliant all year, Andrew Howard, Jonny Adam and Ross my team mates who have been really good fun and so helpful to work with. Then, there’s my School, my management team, the organisers at SRO, the media, the Aston Martin Evolution Academy guys – Andy, Dave, David, John, Andrew, Warren and Becks who have all given me great advice this year.
“But I’d also like to thank my fellow racers and competitors. It was a strong grid this year with some very accomplished drivers and some close racing. We had to work hard as a team to get our results and I feel quite humbled to have won this Championship as a ‘rookie’. So many of the other teams and drivers came over to congratulate us and wish us well , which I think is a credit to the sporting spirit of this Championship. Of course, I still have a lot to learn, but this year in GTs has been a brilliant education and I just want to keep getting better and better.
“And so, to everyone, my heartfelt thanks!”