RAM Racing will make its 24H SERIES return at the Hankook 24H PORTIMAO on 16-17-18 July, an event at which the British team will also roll out its new Mercedes-AMG GT4. Phil Keen, Jon Minshaw and Ian Loggie will partner with historic racing specialist Katarina Kyvalova for the event.
RAM Racing is set to make its long-awaited return to the 24H SERIES at next month’s Hankook 24H PORTIMAO, and has now confirmed the four-driver line-up that will pilot the team’s Mercedes-AMG GT4 on 16-17-18 July.
British GT Championship frontrunner Phil Keen will once again team up with Jon Minshaw, the pair having previously competed together in the series from 2013 to 2018. Keen has previously secured class podiums with GRT Grasser Racing Team (Silverstone 2018) and Barwell Motorsport (Mugello 2019), and even took GTX class victory at last year’s Hankook 24H DUBAI with Dragon Racing. Portimão though will be the British driver’s first race in a GT4-spec racer.
“It’s a bit odd: while this will be my first race with RAM I know the team so well through racing against them in British GT that I already feel like a part of the furniture in the garage!” Keen explains. “This will also be my first-ever race in a GT4 car. I’ve tested them a few times, but never actually raced one. They’re good fun.”
Katarina Kyvalova, a competitor at the Goodwood Revival, the Le Mans Classic, the Mille Miglia, and the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique among others, will join the pair on her return to the 24H SERIES. The Bentley Belles team founder is a two-time entrant at the Hankook 24H DUBAI alongside teammate Jon Minshaw, but brutally, the pair were denied GT4-class victory at the event in 2019 when rear diff failure eliminated the ERC Sport Mercedes-AMG just 90 minutes from home.
Though her focus for now remains on historic racing, Kyvalova hasn’t ruled out the possibility of more 24H SERIES outings in the future…
“I love the sense of speed and the thrill of modern GT racing – it’s so different from the classic cars,” Kyvalova explains. “Racing historic cars takes so much concentration and effort, timing gear changes and being mechanically sympathetic. You can relax a bit more with modern GTs as they’re a lot tougher – that does remove a lot of the excuses book though! I’m really looking forward to Portimão and I think we can go there and get a good result. I’d love to do more, but we’ll see how we go at Portimão first.”
RAM Racing regular Ian Loggie completes the team’s Portimão quartet. Another stalwart of both British GTs, the Scot has also competed semi-regularly with CREVENTIC since 2018, and even started 2021 with an overall win at the non-championship Hankook 6H ABU DHABI with Car Collection Motorsport in January.
RAM Racing’s first start in the 24H SERIES since the 2018 Hankook 24H BARCELONA will also mark the team’s maiden run in the GT4 class, the British team having previously competed in the top tier A6/GT3 class with a Mercedes-AMG GT3, a Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 (with which RAM Racing also won the 2015 Hankook 24H CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD), and even a Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 during the team’s debut season in 2013. Despite the team’s comparative inexperience with the GT4 category, team principal Dan Shufflebottom remains quietly confident that the #405 Mercedes-AMG GT4 will be in the mix for a good result in Portimão.
“I’m really pleased that we’ve brought this GT4 project together, and I don’t think we could wish for a better driver line-up for our debut in the class,” Shufflebottomn states. “We’ve been talking to Katarina for a while and it’s been a pleasure working on the Mercedes-AMG GT4, so we’re now all excited to be able to push the car’s limits together in Portimão. It will be great having both Jon and Phil with us instead of racing against us for once, and Ian is well known to the entire team already. Together I think they’ll make a super crew and we’ll definitely be ones to watch in the GT4 class.”
- Images – RAM Racing, Katarina Kyvalova and Petr Frýba