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Shaun Balfe is competing in the British GT Championship for the 13th time

Shaun Balfe is hoping his 13th year of competing in the British GT Championship won't prove to be an unlucky one for the Fulbeck racer.

Balfe will be racing again this season in the competition which he first debuted in back in 1999 with his Marcos Mantis.

For 2024 though there is a change of team, car and co-driver after Balfe finished fourth overall last term with Sandy Mitchell.

Shaun Balfe is all set for the new British GT Championship campaign.
Shaun Balfe is all set for the new British GT Championship campaign.

He will be sharing a Team Barwell Lamborghini Huracan GT3 with the reigning Porsche Carrera Cup Champion Adam Smalley, who has also won titles in the Ginetta GT4 Super Cup, Ginetta Junior Championship and Winter Series, as well as a number of karting titles.

Having joined Garage 59, they will be in the latest McLaren GT3, the 720S Evo, which Smalley will also race in the GT World Challenge Europe.

Balfe said: "I did a few laps in the car at a wet Silverstone, but my first real run in the car was at the Donington Park media day.

"I still have a lot to learn, getting used to the new car on a busy track in wet conditions, so it's in at the deep end again.

Balfe had previously raced a McLaren 720S under his family team banner in 2020 and previously the 650S, tasting success in the European GT Open Championship.

He added: "It’s hard to compare the new car to the old one, until I have driven it more in anger.

"Adam has had a lot more seat time in the car and tested abroad. I hadn't met him until the Silverstone test, but I am happy with the progress we have made so far."

The opening round of this year's event is at Oulton Park on Easter Monday with a 36-car grid expected.

Donington Park, Silverstone, Spa Francorchamps and Snetterton follow, before a second trip to Donington precedes the Brands Hatch finale at the end of September.

Thomas Balfe
Thomas Balfe

But Shaun won't be the only Balfe on track this season, as teenage son Thomas is contesting the Ginetta GT Academy Championship, which is part of the British GT support programme.

Thomas said: "The Ginetta Media day at Oulton Park was my first time in the new car.

"I am looking for decent results, but not setting a real target. I would like to progress in motorsport, but will see how things go at Easter."

Balfe Junior made his racing debut last season in the C1 Challenge, racing alongside his father and also contested the last few rounds of the Ginetta Academy.

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