The Lowdown on James and his 2016 plans.

James Harrison

After a brief foray in the British GT Championship in 2015, James will be making a return to racing this season, in the Volkswagen Fun Cup with Kinetix Motorsport. Continuing a partnership with drivers Chris Webster and Michelle Hayward, this year will mark a debut to the championship for the newly formed team,

James’ motorsport career began at the age of 10 in karting, where after a spell of local club racing, he moved in to the national racing scene in 2003. With strong results in his maiden year, he secured 3rd in the Junior Gearbox British championship in just his second year of national racing.

2005 would mark James’ first year of racing cars in the Ginetta Junior championship. Runner up in his first year, he then went on to win the title in 2006 amongst a highly competitive field. This success caught the attention of Loughborough College, who offered James a place on their AASE Motorsport programme in it’s inaugural year.

In 2007, James competed in a half season of the Radical Enduro series, one of the UK’s fastest one make championships. In James’ most dominant year to date, he recorded 6 wins from 8 races in a very challenging series, finishing 3rd in the championship, despite not competing at half of the rounds.

Quick Facts

DOB: 07/03/1990
Age: 25
Birthplace: Gillingham
Residence: Breedon on the Hill
Profession: Performance Driving Specialist
Hobbies: Mountain Biking, Snowboarding
Favourite Track: Donington Park
Highest Accolade: Ginetta Junior Champion in 2006

His performance attracted the attention of a number of British GT and Formula Renault teams, but budget constraints meant he wasn't able to finalise a drive in 2008. After a brief spell in Britcar aboard a Ginetta G20, James was announced as works driver for Murtaya sportscars, a Newquay based kit car manufacturer. This gave James the chance to develop a very capable road car for circuit use, where the car’s performance really came to the fore.

From 2010 onwards, James has been focussing on driver coaching and training, helping others to progress with their racing career and driving ability. 2013 bought his best result, with two of his drivers finishing first and second overall in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge. James also made a one off appearance in the Silverstone 1000k with Academy Motorsport, finishing 2nd in a class of much faster cars.

2014 bought with it another year of coaching for the Academy Motorsport squad, with another strong year for the team, finishing 3rd in the Drivers' Championship. James also competed in the Birkett six hour at Silverstone and the Race of Remembrance at Anglesey, where the team scored more strong results.

2015 brought James' toughest season so far, as he competed alongside Chris Webster in the British GT Championship aboard an Aston Martin Vantage GT4. After just two rounds, James was forced to pull out with budget limitations, but gained valuable knowledge and experience on the way.

Volkswagen Fun Cup

This season, James will return to one make racing in the Volkswagen Fun Cup. The Fun Cup endurance championship was launched in the UK in 2002, as a step forward in motorsport with the clearly defined objective of providing cost effective, close, exciting and above all, good fun racing for all competitors.

The concept was originally conceived in Belgium, based on the success of endurance karting. As well as a Championship in the UK and Belgium, it also runs in France, Italy, Germany and Spain. From small beginnings, it has taken off to massive success with more than 160 cars on the grid for the Spa 25 hour race and regular grids, topping 30 cars in the UK.

The cars are race designed, single-seaters, with super-strong space frame chassis. They are powered by an 1800cc, 130 bhp VW/Audi petrol engine, with the popular Sadev sequential gearbox. Paddle-shift and pit-to-car radio are also available as optional extras and they all feature race brakes and fully adjustable suspension. All cars are identical in specification, with no-performance modifications. The championship consists of one class and a trophy is awarded to the top 3 teams after each race.

The races are all endurance, between 4 and 6 hours in the UK with the 25 our invitation race at Spa Francorchamps, complete with pit stops and all the drama of such an event. Teams vary from 2 - 6 drivers in the UK and thanks to carefully formulated rules, however many in a team, your chance of success is exactly the same.

So, with the car engines and gearboxes sealed and regulations strictly controlled, the racing is super close and the running costs remarkably low for this type of racing.

The series will take in some of the best circuits in the UK, with an overseas round for the 25 hour race at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. The 2016 Season will run as follows:

  • Brands Hatch Indy
    9 April

  • Oulton Park Int.
    7 May

  • Snetterton 300
    11 June

  • Spa-Francorchamps
    9 / 10 July

  • Silverstone Nat.
    27 august

  • Anglesey
    24 September

  • Oulton Park Int.
    8 October