Winslow set for full Australian GT season
Brit James Winslow will complete a full Australian GT Championship schedule this season alongside gentleman driver Dean Koutsoumidis.
Koutsoumidis returns to the championship with his Trophy Class Audi R8, adding to his new-for-2014 Carrera Cup commitments.
Two-time Australian F3 champion Winslow meanwhile hopes to combine the GT effort with a debut outing in the Le Mans 24 Hours.
He spent last season racing in the Asian Le Mans Series with Hong Kong-based KCMG, narrowly missing out on the title after a mechanical failure late in the season finale.
Although only the winning team receives an automatic entry to the 24 Hours, the KCMG squad has been granted a slot at Le Sarthe, and Winlsow is hopeful of being amongst the action.
“Dean Koutsoumidis is a fantastic supporter of mine and has been for a while now, and he was almost as devastated as I was when I missed out on the guaranteed Le Mans start this year,” said Winslow.
“He’d said from the start that his goal was to be there right alongside me at Le Mans as part of a team, not to drive, but to be a part of the atmosphere.
“I felt that without the confirmation of a Le Mans drive earlier in the year that the best thing I could do to thank him for all his support was to offer some assistance with his Australian GT and Carrera Cup commitments this year.”
Winslow added that he’s “99 per cent confirmed” for a Le Mans start, but stressed that he’s still working through a number of team options.
Koutsoumidis meanwhile is hoping that coaching from Winslow will benefit his Porsche program, which began with a challenging run in Adelaide.
The Equity-One 911 had been an accidental star of the opening race, awkwardly costing early leader Shae Davies several positions as he was getting lapped.
“That was an initiation of fire I can tell you,” Koutsoumidis said of Adelaide.
“It’s a very different car to drive than the Audi, so I got caught a couple of times getting on the gas too early and spinning,” he said.
“It was frustrating because I had the pace to be with some of the other Elite (Class) drivers, and actually raced in amongst them.
“In reality it’s very different to AGT and it was my first real effort and I wasn’t far off, so I had a pretty good time, but I’ll be looking to step things up for the Grand Prix.”
The 2014 Australian GT Championship will kick-off with the Shannons Nationals at Sandown later this month.