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Starlet Wilson is ready to face his biggest test yet

By Sammy Hamill

Published 16/04/2016

Promise: Wilson Thompson will make his British GT series bow
Promise: Wilson Thompson will make his British GT series bow

Wilson Thompson will put thoughts of his A Level exams to one side as he makes his debut in the British GT championship at Brands Hatch this weekend.

The 17-year-old RBAI student makes the massive jump from driving Formula Fords at Kirkistown to line up alongside some of Britain's best sportscar drivers at the Kent circuit.

The fact that he broke his back in a crunching crash last year won't worry him as he climbs on board a 360 horse power Ginetta G55 for his first taste of GT racing.

Wilson, the son of former racer Robert Thompson, has joined Team HARD and will share the GT4 Ginetta with one of Ireland's most versatile drivers, Robert Barrable.

Barrable has swapped rally cars for sportscars after coming close to winning last year's Circuit of Ireland.

He is a former Formula Ford champion who has competed in the World rally championship and regularly switches between codes.

But, like Thompson, he is new to GT racing and is going in at the deep end in one of Britain's most competitive championships.

Young Thompson, from Hillsborough, graduated via the Irish Ginetta Junior series where he scored 11 (out of 12) podium finishes before switching to Formula Ford last year.

But a huge accident at Kirkistown, in which he broke his back in six places, left him sidelined for most of the season and facing a long road back to fitness.

Now he moves up to another level to a series in which the likes of fellow Ulstermen Adam Carroll and Richard Lyons have raced in the recent past.

In action, too, this weekend is another aspiring young Ulster driver, Daniel Harper.

Harper takes part in the second series of races in the British Ginetta Junior championship at Donington.

The 15-year-old Dromore High School student had all of the ITV4 commentators singing his praise during his debut performance at Brands Hatch a fortnight ago.

Up at Silverstone, where the World Endurance Championship begins this weekend, scholarship winner Charlie Eastwood will be looking to build on his strong start to the Porsche Carrera Cup series in which he lies sixth after the first two rounds.

Meanwhile, 18-year-old Patrick O'Brien defends his lead in the second round of the Irish Forest Championship.

The Moonraker Rally is based at Ballyvourney.

O'Brien goes into the event in his Mitsubishi Evo full of confidence on the back of a British championship class-winning performance on the Circuit of Ireland.

Belfast Telegraph

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