• Career-changing deal for Caygill with Belgian Audi Club Team WRT
• Briton graduates from Audi Sport TT Cup into Blancpain Endurance
• Huge opportunity for Yorkshireman in world’s biggest GT series
• Caygill elated with ‘mind-blowing’ first tests at wheel of Audi R8
Josh Caygill will embark on, arguably, the biggest season of his motor racing career this year after signing a huge deal with top GT squad Belgian Audi Club Team WRT to contest the ultra-competitive Blancpain Endurance Cup.
Making the step-up into the world’s biggest GT endurance racing championship with the multiple title winning team, the 27-year-old from Netherton in West Yorkshire this week enjoyed his first ‘official’ test outing at the wheel of the Audi R8 LMS Ultra he will race this year.
After an initial run out last Friday, 10th March, at Monza in Italy – his first ever outing in a GT3 race car – Caygill and 2017 team-mates Jon Venter and Niki Mayr-Melnhof then headed to Paul Ricard HTTT in France for this week’s official two-day test on Monday and Tuesday.
Describing the experience as ‘mind-blowing’, the British driver is now absolutely relishing the prospect of his maiden race in the Blancpain Endurance Cup when Monza hosts the opening round of the season next month, with an immense 57 car entry expected.
“This deal with Belgian Audi Club Team WRT is an absolute dream come true”, said an ecstatic Caygill, “The whole team is absolutely fantastic, I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of lads to work with. I knew before how good the team’s reputation was, obviously, but when you see it with your own eyes it’s amazing. The team is incredible and the preparation is so good.
“My first run in the car last Friday at Monza went well, I got adjusted to the car as well as possible and matched Jonno [Venter] and was only about 0.5 seconds off Niki [Mayr-Melnhof]. At Ricard I was around 0.8 seconds off Jonno but matched Niki so I’m really made up with that, especially with such limited time in the car – I’d never driven a GT3 car before Friday.”
Climbing the Audi Sport ladder by graduating from the ‘one make’ Audi Sport TT Cup, where he has been a category front-runner for the past two seasons, into the Blancpain Endurance Cup, Caygill is now determined to make a suitable impact during his first season in endurance racing.
He added: “The Audi is an amazing car, it feels so comfortable to drive and I was really happy with my data traces when matched against some of the top guys. It’s a great car, the biggest thing is to believe in the aero and trust how fast you can go into, and through, a corner.
“I couldn’t have had a better first experience, the team is so supportive and they’re great guys to work with and learn from – and I must say a huge thank you as well to my manager Tim Sugden, my sponsors and my family for helping to put this deal together. We’ve got a test at Spa next, which I’m really looking forward to, and then on to Monza for the first round in April – I can’t wait for that!”
Round one of the Blancpain Endurance Cup season will take place at Monza in Italy over the weekend 22nd/23rd April.
2017 Blancpain Endurance Cup Calendar
Rd1 Monza, Italy – 22/23 April
Rd2 Silverstone, UK – 13/14 May
Rd3 Paul Ricard, France – 23/24 June
Rd4 Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium – 29/30 July (Total 24 Hours of Spa)
Rd5 Barcelona, Spain – 30 September/1 October
Total 24 Hours Test: Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium – 4 July
Note to editors:
Copyright free images courtesy Patrick Hecq
Vancraft / Volkswagen Van Centre West Yorkshire / SMUK Auto Electrical Engineers – the UK’s leader in vehicle safety equipment, cross-rail vehicle compliance and telematics product installations / BHP Clough & Company Chartered Accountants / Integro Insurance Brokers / WoodenSpoon.com / Tog 24 / Audi Financial Services / Nebula
Through his motor racing Josh helps to support and promote Wooden Spoon – the children’s charity of rugby. Founded in 1983, the charity has been making a difference to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people since that time. Wooden Spoon is one of the largest funders of respite and medical treatment centres, sensory enhancement therapeutic facilities, specialist playgrounds, sports activity areas and community-based programmes. For more information visit www.woodenspoon.com
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