British motorsport squad SWR will make its eagerly awaited debut in endurance racing this coming weekend, 1st/2nd April, during the opening round of the 2017 GT4 European Series Northern Cup at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in Italy.
Since confirming a move into GT competition at the end of last year, the Chipping Norton team has been making big strides with the Nissan 370Z GT4 race car it has entered into the Northern Cup for Durham teenager Charlie Fagg, who will make his endurance debut at Misano.
Fagg, a multiple podium finisher in the UK-based Ginetta Junior Championship, is counting the days until he makes his race debut in the GT4 European Series Northern Cup where he will be partnered by Nissan GT Academy racer Romain Sarazin.
Notably, the trip to Italy will be an event of firsts all ways round – as well as marking Fagg’s debut race in GT4 and SWR’s maiden outing as an entrant in GT action, it will also be Sarazin’s debut outing with the Oxfordshire team.
Additionally, the opening 60-minute race of the season on Saturday will be contested under floodlights with the contest getting underway at 22.00 (local time). For Fagg, the experience will be his first ever night race, and it’s a challenge he is absolutely relishing.
“I am really looking forward to my first season in GT racing and what a place to start, in Misano, Italy”, said an ecstatic Fagg, “Little did I know when I first joined SWR we would be doing the GT4 European Series Northern Cup alongside Blancpain [GT Series] and the DTM [German Touring Cars], but I feel very prepared.
“I may not know exactly where we will finish but I will give my all and I am there to win, not to make up the numbers, and I know Romain has the same approach. Night races will be an amazing experience and I will practice on the simulator as much as I can. Romain will prepare me for the driver changes and I hope we can have a fantastic season with the SWR boys.”
Team-mate Sarazin, who is going into only his second ever season of racing at any level after winning the Nissan GT Academy in 2015, is determined to deliver a strong showing on his debut in the GT4 European Series and is confident the SWR package can challenge for an excellent result.
“I am very excited and looking forward to competing in this first race of the GT4 Northern Cup with SWR”, he said, “This is a new season and my second year of racing and it is even more exciting than the first one because I know the car, and I think we should be able to fight for the win from the beginning. The SWR guys are passionate and hard workers, so I know we will have a great car.”
On behalf of SWR, team owner Sean Walkinshaw commented: “The first round of the GT4 season is nearly upon us and we’re all very excited to get going with the Nissan, and to see what Charlie and Romain can do at Misano.
“It’s a great track, we’ve prepared as well as we possibly could during pre-season testing, and we’re intending to mount a strong, consistent challenge from the first round. The night race on Saturday should be fantastic, there are so many firsts for Charlie to get to grips with but we’re confident he’ll do a great job and especially with a driver of Romain’s quality to learn from.”
Free practice ahead of the opening event of the GT4 European Series Northern Cup will take place this coming Friday, 31st March, with qualifying following at 15.55 (local time) on Saturday, 1st April, ahead of the opening 60-minute contest at 22.00 (local time). On Sunday, 2nd April, race two will get underway at 14.55 (local time).