The full season British GT Championship entry is moving very close to completion with the confirmation today by Steller Motorsport of their full driver line-up for a two car attack on the GT4 class with the Toyota GT86GT4.
The Toyotas add yet further variety in a 23 car GT4 field for the Championship, alongside entries already announced with Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Ginetta, Jaguar, Mercedes-AMG and Nissan machinery 2018 will mark the first season that the GT86 has been fielded for a full season.
The Buckinghamshire based team are going to do battle with a driver squad featuring four bright young talents:
Car #68 sees 22-year-old Sennan Fielding joined by 16-year-old Tom Canning.
Sennan Fielding, from Chesterfield, has been a race winner in almost every Championship he has contested and has come mighty close to major Championship wins in single seaters more than once. Still a young man he by far the most experienced circuit racer of the Steller quartet.
He’s raced and tested single seater, DTM, GT and sports prototype cars around the world and was a McLaren Autosport BRDC Award finalist in 2016.
“I’m super excited to get the season going in the Toyota GT86 with Steller Motorsport. I feel like I’ve got a great team around me and hope we can get the results we deserve. It’s great to be racing back on British soil too.
“After getting involved with coaching drivers in sportscar racing in recent months I’m sure I can add something to the whole effort here too, it’s always good to work with emerging talents.”
Tom Canning, from Bath, arrives in GT4 via the 2017 Ginetta Junior Championship and a multiple Championship winning record in karting. He is set to be the youngest driver in the 2018 British GT Championship
“The entry for the Championship looks fantastic and I’m sure that we can get up to pace very quickly. Whilst the Toyota is a big step up from last seasons Ginetta there are plenty of common factors that should make it a relatively easy transition.
“I’m delighted to be a part of this programme, and to be sharing the car with Sennan. Everyone involved here is hungry to progress and working with an experienced team, and an experienced team-mate will only help to carry me forward. I can’t wait!”
Car #86 sees a pair of 17-year-old drivers combine, Dean Macdonald joined by Alex Quinn.
Dean Macdonald from Cowdenbeath follows up a 2017 season that saw him help his previous team Garage 59 to second in the British GT Championship GT4 Teams’ standings in a McLaren 570S GT4 and then come close to winning the much prized Porsche Carrera Cup GB Junior Scholarship. Dean is another multiple championship winner in karting.
“It’s great to be back in the British GT Championship for a second full season, and to be sharing the Toyota with an old karting sparring partner!” says Macdonald.
“I saw last season how tough a challenge the Championship, and GT4, really is and, by the look of things, this year is only going to be better and tougher.
“A year of GT4 experience though will be invaluable to myself, to the team, and, I hope, to Alex too. We’re both raring to go.”
Alex Quinn from the South West of England has race winning success in single seaters already on his cv. After karting championship wins he switched to single seaters and progressed rapidly. This will be his first season in GT racing.
“I’ve been in talks with Steller Motorsport for quite some time and very much enjoyed the test we had with the Toyota. After my experience so far in single seaters it’s very different but GT racing offers a real opportunity for a totally new career track and this programme is an exciting first step on that path.
“I’m particularly pleased to be sharing the #86 Toyota with an old karting rival Dean Macdonald.”
Headed by Gary Blackham, who has multiple Championship winning success in BTCC and has huge experience with touring cars, sportscars and GTs on his racing cv. Steller are aiming to show the abilities of the now re-engineered Toyota in top level competition and hope to see interest from other teams in the rapid little GT86 as the GT4 formula explodes into major growth worldwide..
”With the Toyotas now thoroughly re-engineered and an array of young talent we are eager to get the season started,” adds Blackham.
“I’m delighted to bring a two car effort for the full season, that will help everyone involved to carry the programme forward and to be real contenders at the sharp end of a fantastic GT4 field.”
The Toyota GT86 GT4, based on one of the most popular GT cars on the road, was initially developed by GPRM for GT4 competition. The project passed to Steller Engineering after the 2017 season and rapid progress has been made in ensuring that the now in-house engine programme is providing the power and reliability required to go head-to-head with an increasingly impressive GT4 field.
The Toyota is powered by a 2.0-litre direct injection turbocharged four-cylinder capable (subject to Balance of Performance adjustments) of producing c.400 bhp. Steller Engineeering plan to market the car for production to order and are able to complete cars for interested parties in a matter of weeks.
Pics copyright to and courtesy of Jakob Ebrey Photography