JERSEY’S single seater and sports-car star James Walker looks set to make a return to the British GT Championship next season, with a full championship campaign among his options for 2024.
The championship was established by the British Racing Drivers’ Club in 1993, and continues to be one of the most competitive series in the world.
Walker had his first taste of the British GT championship back in 2013, in the Fortec Motorsport Mercedes AMG SLS GT3 car and feels that a return is the perfect way to continue his comeback, and another step towards achieving his ultimate goal, a return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where he previously raced with Ferrari in 2012 in the GT Pro class and G-Drive in LMP2 in 2013.
‘I’m currently in discussions with a few teams for next year, with a number of people I have worked with in the past now holding key positions within top teams, and able to influence driver line-ups,’ said Walker.
‘If I’m going to commit to a full campaign, it needs to be a package that will be competitive. From a commercial perspective, the British GT championship ticks a lot of boxes, as it travels the length and breadth of the UK with an additional European round, so it’s a brilliant opportunity to partner with and work alongside new people and brands from different regions and for that reason it’s high up on my list.’
Walker has competed and won in a wide variety of championships over the last 20 years, from British Formula Ford, where he was crowned British Champion in 2003, British and European Formula 3, World Series by Renault, European Le Mans series and the World Endurance Championship to name but a few. His return to racing with fellow Islander Tony Whitney in this year’s Britcar Endurance Trophy has sparked his desire to be back on the grid.
‘I have been fortunate enough to find myself partnering Tony this year, and it has reminded me just how much I miss it. It is such an amazing opportunity, and we had a great result first time out at Brands Hatch in April with a podium finish,’ added Walker. ‘The SW Engineering team prepared the car to an incredible standard, and Tony drove exceptionally well in really challenging conditions. With our next two-hour race at Silverstone in a couple of weeks, I think we will be looking to make the top step of the podium. I think the TAF Tyres Porsche 911 will suit the high-speed nature of the Grand Prix circuit, so I’m really excited to be heading back to the home of British motorsport.
‘Having stepped away from racing to focus on my children and their upbringing here in Jersey in 2015, I always felt that a return would be an option at some stage in the future. Now feels like the right time, and, as it turns out, my love for the sport and the fantastic opportunities that it offers hasn’t disappeared in the last ten years. There are a number of options for 2024, all of which, however, will have to work alongside my other work and family commitments. However, right now I’m looking forward to getting back in the car at Silverstone. July will also be busy, with Tony and I racing together in the six-hour Britcar race at Donington, which is a fantastic circuit, and one that I’ve been lucky enough to have great success at in the past.’