Elite Motorsport announced the second of a three-car GB3 Championship line-up on Thursday, with Ginetta GT5 Challenge runner-up John Bennett moving into single-seaters with the Norfolk outfit for 2022.
Bennett joins 2020 Ginetta Junior champion Tom Lebbon at Elite, finishing seventh in the GT5 Challenge standings as Lebbon took his title.
That first campaign in car racing started in Junior Rotax karting, and yielded three GT5 podiums and seven overall top-six finishes.
The 2021 season went even better, bringing a second-placed finish in the standings, with ten podiums and five wins at Thruxton, Brands Hatch, Silverstone, Snetterton and Donington Park.
His GB3 testing regime with Elite began in October, the 18-year-old trying out the outgoing Tatuus BF3-020 at Pembrey Circuit, Silverstone and Donington before teams receive the full upgrade package to make up the Tatuus MSV-022 over the winter.
“2022 will be my first season in single-seaters so obviously there will be a huge amount to learn and adapt to but I am up for the challenge,” Bennett said.
“I believe a realistic goal for me is to finish inside the top ten in the championship at the end of the year, and to be challenging for some top-five finishes.”
The 2022 GB3 campaign will be his third year with the Thetford-based squad; he’s looking forward to continuing the relationship.
“It was a straightforward decision to continue racing with Elite,” he said.
“I’ve really enjoyed the past two years with them and they’ve pushed me on well.
“I’d never driven a car when I started with them and so to become the GT5 vice-champion this year and one of their 2022 GB3 drivers, I’m delighted.
“Elite performed very strongly in their debut GB3 season this year. I’m only too aware that going from Ginetta GT5 to GB3 is a huge step-up for me but I’m absolutely loving the new challenge and all the techniques required for driving a completely different car.
“I believe GB3 is the most competitive championship in Britain, with some of the best single-seater drivers from around the world taking part.
“GB3 is the biggest step forward that I can make after GT5. I believe it offers the best opportunity I can have to develop my skills as a racing driver and to progress my career.
“I’d like to thank [Team Owner and Manager,] Eddie [Ives] for the great opportunity to race for his GB3 team, as well as the hard work that everyone at Elite has put in for me these past two years. I am also incredibly grateful to my family and my sponsors for allowing myself to continue furthering my racing career.”
Eddie Ives added: “I’m really excited to announce our next GB3 driver for 2022. John has been with us since moving into cars from karts two years ago.
“From that very first day in a Ginetta, his outright pace excelled. We’ve started a GB3 test programme and John is already surpassing our expectations.We’re all really excited to see how he develops over the next six months.
“From an Elite Motorsport perspective, it’s fantastic to see our ladder of progression for existing drivers working well within the team.”