Greystone GT steps up to GT4 European Series with twin McLarens

Greystone GT steps up to GT4 European Series with twin McLarens

Greystone GT, which only made its debut last season in the UK GT Cup Championship, will make the step up to European competition this year running two McLaren 570S GT4s.

German driver Distl and rising Swiss star Valente are the first pairing confirmed for the team. They will contest three of this year’s six rounds, with Greystone’s second car planned as a full-season entry.

Distl and Valente will run in the Pro-Am class and will contest the mid-season double-headers at Paul Ricard in France and Misano in Italy, as well as the season finale at Barcelona, Spain, in October.

Munich-based Distl began racing in 2019 in the Pure McLaren GT Series, finishing in the top six in the Cup class for GT4 machinery in every race he entered.

After a year away he returned in 2021 with selected outings in the more powerful 570S Trophy division, scoring a best finish of fourth at Portimão with Alain co-driving. He also made a one-off appearance in the GT4 European Series at Paul Ricard last season as a toe in the water for this campaign.

Pro racer Valente began his career in karts aged seven; winning the Swiss title and the prestigious Trofeo Andrea Margutti before graduating to cars in 2014 in FIA Formula 4 and scoring six podiums on his way to fifth in the points.

Since switching to GT racing he has been a member of both the Lamborghini Young Drivers and the McLaren Automotive Driver Development Programmes. During this period the 25-year-old has scored wins in the Italian GT Championship and the ADAC GT Masters GT4 Trophy in Germany. Last year he finished on the podium three times in British GT’s Silver Cup class.

Richard Distl said: “I’m very happy to be competing in the GT4 European Series with Greystone GT. I’ve come to racing quite late and don’t have that much experience, so this will definitely be the biggest challenge I’ve faced on the track so far. I want to have fun, and also to keep improving my performances. We’ve decided not to do the first races at Imola because I don’t know the track and won’t be able to test there, but the programme we’ve put together looks very exciting. Alain is a fantastic young driver who I’ve known since we were put together on a track day in 2017 and who has lots of experience of the 570S GT4, and Greystone GT have proven that they are a highly-skilled team with McLarens. I think we’re going to have a very enjoyable programme of races.”

Alain Valente said: “I’m excited to join Greystone GT and Richard in this programme in the GT4 European Series. It’s become very popular over the past couple of years and in 2021 the grid was usually over 40 cars, so I think the competition will be quite intense. The experience I’ve gained in all kinds of GT racing cars over the past few seasons will help push us up the order, but mainly we’re here to help Richard enjoy things as much as possible. We are friends and we’ll drive like that. I met the team at Greystone GT when I tested with them at Oulton Park last year and instantly had a good feeling with them. I think there’s a lot of potential in this project.”

Aside from its race team, Greystone GT boasts a successful record of running both high-performance test sessions and track days in the UK. This move into the GT4 European Series marks the team’s biggest expansion yet.

Mark McLoughlin, Greystone GT Team Principal, said: “To launch a multi-race programme in a series as intensely fought as the GT4 European Series, and to be attracting drivers from across the continent to what is a very ambitious, but still very young, team, makes us all feel very proud. We really enjoyed testing with Richard in Barcelona last year and are delighted to have him on board for 2022 as we work together to help him take a step forward with his racing. In Alain we have a young racer who has already been recognised as having the talent to join two major manufacturers’ young driver programmes and who gave a very good impression of himself when he tested with us last year at Oulton Park. I can’t wait to see what we can potentially achieve in the series together.”

News on Greystone GT’s second car will be announced soon.