HUGE SEASON IN STORE FOR HUTCHISON WITH AUDI SQUAD SAINTELOC IN GT WORLD CHALLENGE AND INTERCONTINENTAL GT
Dundee racing driver Finlay Hutchison is set for his most exciting, and arguably most high-profile, season yet after this morning confirming he has joined top Audi Sport squad Sainteloc Racing for the 2021 GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup and Intercontinental GT Challenge.
Hutchison, a British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Rising Star, has been racing an Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO for the past couple of years in Europe and has now signed to partner rapid Audi factory drivers Frederic Vervisch and Markus Winkelhock at French squad Sainteloc for the five-round Endurance Cup.
Highly respected German racer Winkelhock, with whom Hutchison teamed in January in both the Hankook Dubai 24 Hours and Hankook 6H Abu Dhabi, will also be the 21-year-old’s team-mate in the Intercontinental GT Challenge – where Hutchison will make his first ever visit to world-famous tracks Indianapolis in America and Kyalami in South Africa. The other factory driver is yet to be confirmed.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic to have joined Sainteloc for 2021, especially with two incredible team-mates like Fred and Markus”, said an overjoyed Hutchison, “This really is going to be my most high-profile season yet, it’s an amazing opportunity at this point in my career and I can’t wait to get started with the team at the test this week at Paul Ricard.
“Over the last couple of seasons I’ve gained some very good experience racing Audis in GT World Challenge Europe, and I’m looking forward to putting everything I’ve learned to good use with the guys at Sainteloc. I couldn’t wish for two better team-mates, it should be an amazing season.”
Sebastien Chetail, team principal of Sainteloc Racing, said: “I’m very pleased to welcome Finlay as a new driver into Sainteloc Racing for the season 2021, both for GTWCE Endurance and Intercontinental GT Challenge.
“We are really looking forward to starting this campaign to give the opportunity to Finlay to progress and show his skills. Having the two experienced Audi Sport Customer Racing drivers, Frederic and Markus, will be a big advantage as they know the car. The team will help Finlay to be as comfortable as possible in this new environment.”
Hutchison, who is backed by Dundee-based Hutchison Technologies, Evoson and In-Home Displays, started out his car racing career in Formula Renault in 2016 before switching to GT competition the following year, immediately making an impact by winning his class in the Dubai 24 Hours – at just 16-years-old.
Competing in GT4 action in 2017 in both the GT4 European Series Northern Cup and Southern Cup, he became a multiple podium finisher in a McLaren and also secured silverware in the one-make Audi Sport TT Cup. Contesting another dual campaign in 2018 in the British GT4 Championship and GT4 European Series, Hutchison won races in both during a very successful year.
Graduating into top-level GT3 racing for 2019, the Scotsman contested both the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup and sister Sprint Cup and became a Silver Cup class podium finisher in the former at Paul Ricard in an Audi. In the Sprint Cup he teamed with Vervisch, taking a top five best.
In 2020, Hutchison raced an Audi R8 again in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup and dovetailed the campaign with a maiden season in the European Le Mans Series at the wheel of a Ferrari F488.
Now, Hutchison is preparing to embark on his debut with Sebastien Chetail’s Sainteloc squad and will get his first mileage during this week’s official two-day GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup test at Paul Ricard in France tomorrow, Thursday, 25th March, and Friday, 26th March. The 2021 season will then get underway at Monza in Italy over the weekend 17th/18th April.
Hutchison’s maiden campaign in the Intercontinental GT Challenge will start with the Total 24 Hours of Spa at the end of July, which is also round three of the Endurance Cup season, followed by the Indianapolis 8 Hour in the USA in October and the Kyalami 9 Hour in South Africa in December. One further race in the Middle East is set to be announced in due course, as a replacement for Suzuka in Japan.
“I’m really pleased to be back in the Endurance Cup this year and really looking forward to racing at all of the awesome tracks like Monza and Spa”, Hutchison added, “The major highlights, though, will be the chance to race at Indianapolis and Kyalami for the first time, I know both will be an amazing experience. I really must say a huge thank you to my sponsors for making this season possible.”
Source. Marc Orme