Posted on Mar 27th, 2016
17 year-old Jamie made headlines last year by becoming the youngest ever driver, and first female, to win a British GT title, with Ross Gunn, in the Beechdean Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4. This year Jamie has signed once again with Beechdean – partnering British TV celebrity Paul Hollywood in selected British GT races, whilst juggling with her A-levels. The British Racing Drivers’ Club ‘Rising Star’ has also appointed leading management agency, Crown Motorsport, to support her on and off track activities.
Following the signing, the greatest ever Englishman to compete in GT and Endurance racing, motorsport legend, Derek Bell MBE; 5 times Le Mans winner, 3 times Daytona Winner and 2 times World Sports Car Champion, caught up with Jamie to talk about the year ahead.
DB – Congratulations on last year’s successes, Jamie. How do you follow that?
JC – Thanks. Logically, I would be looking to defend this title, or contest another. However, this is my final school year, with some fairly crucial A-Levels, so I have to prioritise these around my racing programme.
DB – Good girl – so School comes before Racing?
JC – For the moment. It’s my ambition to become a major player in global motorsports, in the first instance as a successful driver, but beyond that in a wider role – perhaps in a media capacity – and for that I will need to capitalise on my formal education and perhaps university. I think it’s important to combine both.
DB – And the big news seems to be your drive with ‘Bake Off’ star Paul Hollywood in this year’s British GT?
JC – Yes, I’m really pleased about this. Andrew Howard, Team Principal at Beechdean and 2015 BGT3 Champion, approached me about this last year, and it works well for both Paul and I. He has filming commitments with the BBC until July, whilst I am doing my A-levels, so we will both come into the Championship at Round 4 in Spa. However, I believe we’ll both be at the earlier rounds in some capacity. I first met Paul last year, and he’s very enthusiastic about racing, and really keen to learn, so it will be good for me as a driver and stretch my responsibilities.
DB – And for the rest of the season?
JC – Quite a bit, I hope. Not being committed to one Championship will allow me to broaden my experience. I may do a few club level events in, perhaps Caterham or Radicals, some testing in GTs and perhaps some European races in preparation for next year.
DB – And the obvious question; any ambitions to reach Formula One
JC – Although I currently see my future in GT/endurance racing, I haven’t entirely dismissed the route through the single-seat Formulae, and I am planning to test a Formula 4 this year, if only to explore a different discipline.
DB – You must be one of the most promising young female drivers, are you involved with Susie Wolff’s new initiative – ‘Dare to be Different’?
JC – Yes, I’ve been in contact with Susie for some time, and she has always been very supportive. I believe motorsport will benefit greatly from more girls on the grid. It will broaden the audience and the marketing opportunities. But we can only be there on ability. Of course, male or female, success in motorsport relies on financial support and backing, and Susie’s initiative could be very valuable in this regard, and help bring more female drivers to the fore.
DB – I gather you’ve signed with Crown Motorsport; why did you feel you needed the support of a management company?
JC – As you’ll know, there is a huge amount to motorsport beyond the racing and, at my age, the right decisions are crucial – school, team choices, racing, financing, sponsorship, PR, media work – all these elements need to be managed to the best effect if I am to progress. I’ve worked with some good people in the past, but there are areas we need to expand in the future and I was impressed by parent, Crown Talent & Media Group’s breadth of services and the success they have achieved for their many other clients. It enables me to focus on my driving.
DB – Well done, Jamie, good luck with your racing and thanks for supporting the Hope for Tomorrow Charity
JC – Thank you – if I could achieve half of your success it would be amazing. And, yes, very proud to carry the Hope for Tomorrow logo on my car and race suit, it’s a very worthy cause
Information about Jamie Chadwick
Jamie was born in Bath, lives nr Tetbury, Gloucestershire and is currently at school in Cheltenham. She began racing in karts in 2010, but received a huge boost, in 2012, by winning the Ginetta Junior Scholarship, beating more than 60 other young hopefuls in a range of disciplines involving racing, fitness and media skills. This funded Jamie’s 2013 season in the highly competitive Ginetta Junior Championship, part of the hugely popular British Touring Cars support package. In 2014 Jamie again competed in Ginettas, achieving regular front running performances and podiums. 2015 was a big step up for Jamie – signing to race for Beechdean Motorsport in British GT, driving a 400hp Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4. With her teammate Ross Gunn, they secured the 2015 British GT4 Title. Jamie was also selected to be part of the 2015 Aston Martin Racing driver development programme – The Evolution Academy – and invited by the prestigious British Racing Drivers Club, to become a ‘Rising Star’. In 2016 Jamie has again signed for Beechdean Motorsport to race in the final 3 rounds of the British GT Championship with popular TV chef Paul Hollywood. As part of her ongoing development she will also test a BRDC F4 single seater in April before committing to further racing during 2016.
Find out more about Jamie Chadwick by viewing this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8PC4wNR5qg
Notes to Editors: