- Simon Paice
Breakell Racing Impress Across Busy Triple-Header GT4 Weekend
Breakell Racing highlighted their continued growth and expertise as a race team last weekend (22/23 April), as they produced impressive performances across three different championships at three different circuits over two countries.
The bumper weekend of action for the Clitheroe based team saw them continue their great start to the 2023 British Endurance Championship at Brands Hatch, begin their maiden season in the Porsche Sprint Challenge GB at Donington Park and battle for class silverware in the Nürburgring 24 Hour qualifiers races.
Breakell Racing were in Germany for consecutive weekends as they ramped up their preparations for the ADAC TotalEnergies 24h Nürburgring next month. First up was the third round of the Nurburgring Endurance Series (NLS) on 15 April, before the 24h qualifiers weekend.
NLS 3 was the team’s first opportunity to run their newly-acquired Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 on the iconic Nordschleife circuit, with team principal James Breakell and New Zealand racers Grant Dalton and Grant Woolford getting some crucial mileage under their belt.
Harley Haughton meanwhile completed his third and final event in a VW Scirocco with team partners WS Racing, building his experience levels and confirming his driver permit upgrade before joining the other three drivers in the Cayman for the 24h qualifiers and then the main event.
The teenage talent proved to be a natural in the Cayman and ended up as the fastest driver in the class across the weekend. Despite the Cayman being registered as a permit B car for Saturday, leaving it 100hp down compared to the other Cayman’s in the class, Haughton still shot to the front of the group.
After leading in tricky wet conditions during a two-hour race on Saturday evening, he then repeated the feat at the start of Sunday’s four-hour outing. Building a large lead at one stage, he ended up posting the fastest racing lap in the class entry.
For the two Grant’s, the latest Nürburgring outings served as their chance to gain more knowledge of the Nordschleife and make steps forward with their lap times around the 15-mile “Green Hell”. In that sense it was mission accomplished for the duo.
As the team eventually secured a fourth-place finish in class in both races over the weekend, both Dalton and Woolford made consistent progress with their pace in qualifying and race conditions, adding a number of laps each to their tallies.
James Breakell - Team Principal:““It’s been a fantastic couple of weekends in Germany, getting a lot of valuable experience under our belt running the Cayman. It is truly a fantastic car and an ideal package for drivers of all ages and experience to enjoy top-level GT4 racing.
“I’m proud of the two Grant’s for their progress made of the weekend, as they kept pushing on and improving their lap times on track. Harley is an absolute superstar in the making and to be the fastest driver in the class on your first outing in the car is a phenomenal achievement. We’re all looking forward to the 24 hour race now.”
Following on from a brilliant podium finish in the British Endurance Championship season opener last month at Silverstone, Breakell Racing returned for round two at Brands Hatch targeting more silverware with driver pairing Ameerh Naran and reigning overall champion Tom Jackson.
Two-days of pre-event testing got the duo up to speed around the short Indy circuit in the team’s awesome Mercedes-AMG GT4, with more promising pace following during the 40-minute free practice on Saturday morning.
After going on to qualify a strong third in the Class D ranks, Naran would start the race and produce an impressive opening stint to rise to second at one stage. Battling on against a competitive field, they were firmly in the podium battle for the majority of the race.
Whilst ultimately they would just miss out on further silverware as they took the chequered flag fourth in class, an impressive performance saw them gain no less than seven places overall across the two-hours, while Jackson came away with the fastest racing lap in class.
James Breakell:“It’s another great performance from the team in the British Endurance Championship. While their efforts deserved another trophy, there’s a lot of positives to take away from the event and the race fastest lap proves the huge potential in this package. Tom and Ameerh are doing a brilliant job behind the wheel and we can’t wait to see them progress in future rounds.”
The opening round of the 2023 Porsche Sprint Challenge GB kicked off an exciting new programme for both the team and driver Reece Somerfield, whose made the transition to race a Cayman GT4 after more than a decade in Ginetta competition. The Donington Park opener alongside the British Touring Car Championship therefore served up a big learning curve for the West Midlands racer, as he lined up on an ultra-competitive 19 car grid featuring a large number of drivers with more experience of the car. Somerfield relished the challenge though and put in a trio of determined, fighting performances in a mixture of dry and wet conditions over the weekend. In his Forkers backed car, he qualified ninth in the Pro class and took a best race result of eighth on two occasions. James Breakell: “It was a big step into the unknown for Reece entering the Sprint Challenge GB after racing with Ginetta for so long, and with limited running in the car before the weekend, we think it was a pretty good debut. He maximised the track time available and showed good progress, so there’s much more to come from him going forward.”
Breakell Racing continue their busy 2023 race season next weekend (06/07 May) with the second round of the 2023 Ginetta GT Championship on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit. The ADAC TotalEnergies 24h Nürburgring follows two weeks’ later (18-21 May), on the same weekend as the Porsche Sprint Challenge GB races again at Snetterton.