(Photo from: www.cambridge-news.co.uk)
As the 2017 British Touring Car Championship season looms ever closer, teams, drivers and mechanics will all be preparing themselves for a new season with their tried and tested routines however there are some drivers who enter their first season into the series. Four currently confirmed rookies will be competing in the BTCC for the first time in 2017 and are eligible for the Jack Sears Trophy, where the rookie with the most points at the end of the season wins the prestigious accolade.
All four drivers have racing pedigree behind them and have reached the BTCC in a variety of ways. It is now the turn of Luke Davenport.
Other than a single season on a TOCA bill, the 2014 GT4 Supercup, Davenport has a wealth of experience in other forms championships, varying from GT GT3 racing to Ginettas. He racing career began in karts at a young age however he graduated to cars in 2011 when he competed in the Ginetta G20 Challenge, competing into the final few rounds of the season.
For 2012, he moved up to the G40 Ginetta Challenge, finishing eighth overall in a series which also included four podium finishes. He continued in the series for 2013 in which he achieved his maiden win and an addition nine podiums. This time he finished fourth overall in a year which also included a drive in the Dutch GT championship in a Ginetta G50 at the Spa Francorchamps circuit.
2014 was Davenport’s only season in a BTCC support series as he competed in the Ginetta GT4 Supercup, driving for United Autosports with Carl Breeze as his teammate. It was a successful rookie campaign which saw him take two victories at Brands Hatch and Knockhill as well as an additional two podiums on his way to sixth in the standings.
2015 saw Davenport enter GT racing in the British GT4 Championship where he finished third in GT Pro Am as well as receiving the Rookie of the Year award accolade. 2016 saw Davenport enter GT3 for the first time on a full season basis with the factory Ginetta GT5 team.
At the Autosport Show in January this year it was confirmed that the 23 year-old would join Motorbase for the 2017 season, partnering Martin Depper and championship contender Mat Jackson. Speaking when the news was announced at the Autosport Show, Davenport said, “It’s great to be back on the TOCA package after racing GTs for the past couple of seasons,” he said. “I have fond memories from racing in the Ginetta Supercup in 2014 when we won the Teams’ Championship with United Autosports and there’s really nothing quite like the buzz of the BTCC.”
It ensures that he will go up against Ant Whorton-Eales, Will Burns and Senna Proctor for the Jack Sears Trophy.