Nineteen-year-old racer Tom Gamble has secured a place in this year’s 24 hours of Le Mans, reports Paul Horton.
The Epperstone driver has revealed he will join GR Racing for the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship.
Gamble, who most recently took to the track in the Asian Le Mans Series for D’station Racing, will pilot the #86 Porsche 911 RSR GTE in the GT AM class as a silver driver alongside team principal Mike Wainwright and world endurance regular and gold-rated driver Ben Barker.
Gamble, winner of the Autosport BRDC young driver of the year in 2018, scored three wins and four podiums in five races in last year’s ELMS LMP3 championship.
He said the team had a real chance of competing for the 2021 championship.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity to compete in this season’s World Endurance Championship with GR in the Porsche RSR,” he said.
“To race at Le Mans has always been a dream of mine so I can’t thank Mike Wainwright (team owner) enough for the seat and EDGE Management for getting the deal across the line.
“With the combination of the team, car and driver line-up, we have a real chance to fight for some podiums this season.”
Owen Daley, team manager, was full of compliments for the race ace.
“Tom is one of the most exciting young drivers around,” said Daley.
“He has proven himself to be quick in everything he drives — there is no wonder he won the 2018 BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award.
“Winning the ELMS LMP3 Championship proved to us that he was ready for the next step and we were delighted to be able to get him to join us for our WEC campaign.”
The GR Racing team ran as Gulf Racing until the end of last season when it ended its association with Gulf Oil.
The WEC prologue will begin on April 26, with first race, the Six Hours of Spa Francorchamps, taking place on May 1.
A further five events follow and it will see Gamble take on world race circuits in Portimao, Monza, Fuji and Bahrain ahead of the prestigious 24 hours of Le Mans race on August 21.
The announcement of Gamble’s partnership with GR Racing followed a return to the British Racing Drivers Club’s coveted SuperStars programme for another year.
Recognised by the prestigious club as one of the most exciting young talents in British motorsport, the 19-year-old extended an association with the BRDC which began three years ago when he was named on the Rising Stars programme.
The programme was created in 2008 and aimed to develop the most promising young British drivers across all classes of racing, with former members including current Formula 1 stars George Russell and Lando Norris.
This year, Gamble is among 13 drivers. Seven of those 13 were championship winners last season.
Under the mentoring of programme director Andy Meyrick, drivers will receive tailored help with mental and physical training, sponsorship, media and public relations.
Gamble said he was excited to be part of the experience for a third successive year.
“Only 13 drivers have been selected from across British motorsport so it is a great honour,” said Gamble.
“Working with the programme director Andy Meyrick and his team has given me some great advice on how to progress in my career.
“Hopefully, there will be some more opportunities to meet all the SuperStars this year and participate in more BRDC events.”
In the 2021 season Gamble will also step up to the highest class in the European Le Mans Series for the first time.
He will contest a full season in the United Autosports LMP2 car alongside Phil Hanson, who won ELMS LMP2 title 2020. It will mark the first time two BRDC SuperStars will have raced in the same car for an entire season.