Ginetta GT5 Challenge runner-up John Bennett will step up to single-seater racing in 2022, as he joins the GB3 Championship partnered by the BRDC with Elite Motorsport, his third consecutive season with the team. The 18-year-old joins Tom Lebbon in a planned three-car Elite entry for 2022. Bennett finished seventh with Elite in the 2020 Ginetta GT5 Challenge standings in his first season of car racing after just a partial year of Junior Rotax karting. He recorded three GT5 podium finishes in a shortened, compacted season due to the Covid pandemic and seven top-six overall finishes. His best result was a second-place but he also set a new lap record on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in the final round of the year. Remaining in the series for 2021, John was second in the final Challenge rankings having scored 10 podiums, including five victories at Thruxton, Brands Hatch, Silverstone, Snetterton and Donington Park. Bennett commenced a GB3 winter testing campaign with the team at Pembrey in October, and has also visited Silverstone and Donington Park this month, in a variety of weather conditions.
The British driver commented: "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. I believe a realistic goal for me is to finish inside the top-10 in the championship at the end of the year, and to be challenging for some top-five finishes.
"It was a straightforward decision to continue racing with Elite. I have really enjoyed the past two years with them and they have 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 am 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 that it offers the best opportunity that I can have to develop my skills as a racing driver and to progress my career. "I'd like to thank 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 for 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, Elite Motorsport Team Owner and Manager said: "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 are 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."