Wilson Thompson is ready to step up to new challenge
Teenage Ulster Formula Ford driver Wilson Thompson is to make the jump to the British GT championship this year, partnering the experienced and versatile Robert Barrable in a Ginetta G55.
Barrable, from Dublin, is a former Irish Formula Ford champion and runner-up in last year's Brands Hatch Festival but he is also one of Ireland's leading rally drivers, coming close to beating Craig Breen on the 2015 Circuit of Ireland.
He had already talked about contesting this season's Irish Tarmac and British rally championships but has had a change of heart and is returning to racing with the Kent-based Team HARD.
"I'm hoping we can get straight into the thick of it and perform consistently," said Barrable. "Sharing a car with another driver is a new challenge for me and the length of each race will take some getting used to as well but I can't wait."
He will share the GT4 Ginetta with 17-year-old Thompson, from Hillsborough, the son of former race winner Robert Thompson.
A graduate of a karting background, he switched to the Irish Junior Ginetta championship in 2014, scoring 11 podium finishes in 12 races before moving to Formula Ford last year in a Van Diemen. He suffered back injuries in a big accident early in the season but came back to record a couple of top six results.
Now Thompson is moving rapidly on to GT racing. "It's going to be an exciting year for me with a new car, new team, new championship and tracks I have never raced on before," he said.
"I think this year is going to be one of the best ever for British GT with an oversubscribed grid full of both experience and excellent talent."
Meanwhile, Richard Lyons has confirmed he will continue to commute from his Hillsborough base to race in Japan.
He is re-joining Team Hitotsuyama for the 2016 Japanese Super GT series.