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MOTORSPORT

Taking on

Europe’s Elite After a whirlwind first couple of years in motorsport, young racer Jack Manchester has progressed to take on the Blancpain GT Series in 2018 where he has already made an immediate impression.

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pen up any sporting publication and there is a strong chance you'll find yourself reading about the next young talent set for stardom. The world of sport loves a story of a meteoric rise. Yet, across a landscape fuelled by hyperbole, Jack Manchester’s first three seasons in motorsport stands out as a true example of natural talent and fierce dedication. Rewind to 2016 and Jack had not yet stepped behind the wheel in competitive action - his experience behind the wheel was limited to a few opportune track days. Yet, less than three years later the young Brit finds himself going toe-to-toe with some of the world’s finest drivers in the Blancpain GT Series where he is quickly forging a real name for himself. The journey has been a testament to an incredible amount of hard work coupled from the youngster as well as an innate talent to really push the limits on the track. Jack’s aptitude for speed was clear from a young age. After becoming one of the youngest pilots to fly solo in a helicopter and an aeroplane at 17, the Surreybased youngster turned his skills and feel for speed to motor racing. Honing his craft in the UK and European Radical Championships, Jack established himself as one of the best racers on the circuit dumbfounding his more experienced counterparts along the way. Grabbing regular race wins and podiums throughout his Radical exploits, the moment came for Jack to make his next step up the ladder - a decision which he admits would prove to be a hugely pivotal one. “My time in Radical’s was a bit like an apprenticeship for me. I’ve always committed myself wholeheartedly to whatever I have done and this was no different. It was the championship where I cut my teeth and I enjoyed an impressive amount of immediate success.” “I had gained plenty of momentum to my career in racing generally and I knew that the next step which I chose to take was going to be a hugely important one. One wrong turn could have halted all the momentum which I had managed to build up.” With various options in front of him, in typical style, Jack’s fearless attitude led him in the direction of one 34

ParTNErShIP EDITION SIX

of the most competitive racing series’ across the globe. The Blancpain GT Series has long been known for attracting many of the world’s top racing talent and esteemed manufacturers. The 19-year-old knew he would be taking to the grid as one of the least experienced drivers but felt confident that the combination of his own talent and the expertise of the Mercedes-AMG AKKA ASP Team would see him fighting it out at the front of the field. “I have always been a fan of GT racing. In my opinion, the Blancpain GT Series offers some of the most exciting wheel-to-wheel racing around and that is exactly how I want to see myself develop. The AKKA ASP Team have been a front-runner in the series for a number of years now and I was only too glad to join them and get to grips with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 which is an absolute beast of a car.” Embarking on a new challenge, Jack is this year taking on both the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup alongside teammate Nico Bastian and the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup where he team up with Nico and Jules Szymkowiak. Together the trio have enjoyed an excellent start to the season, currently sitting atop of the Silver Cup class in the Sprint Cup. “It has been a whirlwind start to the year with so much to get used to. It’s easy to forget that it is just my third year in competitive racing and I’m up against some of the most renowned names from right across the circuit. That makes it all the more satisfying that we’ve enjoyed a great start registering multiple class podiums in both the Sprint and Endurance Cup’s.” “Nico and Jules have been fantastic teammates and we’ve got a great team spirit which really contributes toward us getting some fantastic results. We have already taken on the challenge of Monza, Silverstone and Paul Ricard this season and I’m really excited about what lies ahead in the second half of the season. Despite our strong start, we are still a new team together and

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