Bridlington's Ashley Marshall confident ahead of Brands Hatch debut
Bridlington’s Ashley Marshall is looking forward to his Balfe Motorsport debut in the British GT Championship at Brands Hatch this weekend.
Marshall, when asked about his targets for the season in the McLaren GT4, said: “For the moment I think it’s too hard to say in such a competitive championship.
“Of course, we all would like to win, and we’ll see where we are at the weekend.
“We’re confident with our pace shown in the pre-season tests so it would be great to fight for regular podiums and wins and then see where we are at the end of the year.”
He added: “We’ve been preparing for the past few years but over the pre-season I’ve had a good couple of days of testing in the car, but I’ve also been spending time with the team on their GT Cup weekends to try and understand everyone’s roles and gel with the team.”
Marshall has a fellow British GT debutant alongside him in Jack Brown, and he added: “Working alongside Jack has been really easy to be honest.
"We get along well as teammates but also outside of the car we have a good relationship, and we like the same feelings from the car, so I feel we make a strong line up.”
The Brid driver has tested at Silverstone but not Brands Hatch, though despite this he is looking forward to the challenge ahead.
He said: “It’s a quite different circuit. Silverstone is a modern Formula 1 facility with a wide flowing circuit and lots of run off.
"Brands Hatch is much more of a challenge as there is no room for error, so a small mistake can easily put you into the barrier.
"This is also my first-time racing at Brands Hatch so it’s a completely new track for me, but I’ve been doing lots of preparation on the simulator and the style of the circuit I feel suits my driving style well.”
When asked about his ambitions in the medium to longer term, he added: "I think for any driver making their GT debut it’s important to be with the right team to help make the transaction from the junior categories smoother, as there is so much more to take on board. I’m really enjoying my time at Balfe.
"It would be nice to continue my GT career with them into a Pro-Am line up, be it in GT4 or GT3 and to do so with an iconic brand such as McLaren is very special to me.”
Marshall has moved his base from the Yorkshire Coast to the Silverstone area, and has admitted despite initial issues he is enjoying life down south.
He said: "For sure it was tricky at first as Bridlington is a small and a quiet town. I do miss being able to go for walks by the beach.
"Being closer to the Midlands allows me to be closer to the circuits and really embed myself within the motorsport industry.
"Having worked in the family business, this transfer has proved to be a good one as it’s allowed me to more-readily step up a level in terms of my work ethic and focus completely on my racing career."