Up till just 4 days ago my plan was to race in the European Super Trofeo Championship with Lamborghini Bonaldi – the same team who gave me my big break in GT Racing.
And yet here I am announcing a three year deal with Ferrari. Quite surreal.
In early 2016 my manager, Alan Macdonald founder of Macdonald Motorsport, contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in testing a Ferrari for Kessel Racing but my initial answer was ‘No’. I was already planning on racing for Bonaldi and had a number of proposals out in the open stating as much. That changed when my main backer, who has always been a Ferrari fan, encouraged me to reconsider.
Knowing that it would be incredibly expensive to do the test I was unable to commit, however, with some help we managed to put a deal together whereby I’d do a two day test in Italy at Vallelunga. A track I have won at before.
Overall the test went incredibly well. Kessel brought their factory driver to benchmark my performance and by the end of day one I was on his pace. In fact it went so well that we didn’t even use our full mileage allocation and ended things early on the second day.
Upon arriving back in South Africa some momentum started to gather and an offer from Kessel came through… a three year deal to race one of their Ferrari GT3’s! 2016 would see me compete in the famous and ultra competitive Blancpain Endurance Series and after some tough negotiating we finally came to an agreement, which I signed just 48 hours ago.
To race for Ferrari is a childhood dream for almost anyone. I used to have a picture of a silver 360 Modena in my room and wanted to own one as bad as the next person. My whole life I aspired to buy a Ferrari before I was 30, but my racing ambitions ultimately got in the way of that.
Needless to say it’s a huge honour to be able to announce this deal and I am truly humbled by the people involved who helped make it a reality.
The Blancpain Endurance Series is considered the most competitive and prestigious in the World. Not only do all the manufacturers take part but the best GT drivers and teams. It truly is the pinnacle of GT3 racing and I cannot believe I’ll be part of it.
This year I’ll be racing at the best tracks in Europe including Monza, Silverstone, Paul Ricard, Spa and Nurburgring!
As part of my racing campaign I will be representing a number of brands but most importantly a good cause which is close to my heart: The mission to stop human trafficking. I will be proudly displaying #StopHumanTrafficking on my helmet and race suit throughout the year in order to help raise awareness – I hope you’ll join me.
A massive Thank You to Alan Macdonald who was able to put this deal together. Took his vision to spot the opportunity and force me into that test. Could not be happier to have him as my manager.
The last word needs to go to Bonaldi and specifically Gianfranco and Marco Bielli. It was because of them that I got my shot in the Italian GT Championship last year and without their support in 2015 I would not have been in the position I am now. They will be competing in a number of top-line GT Championships this year and I recommend everyone keeps an eye out as they will be fighting at the front.