Matmut Évolution brings twin Toyotas for French champions and an all-female crew

Matmut Évolution brings twin Toyotas for French champions and an all-female crew

The Matmut Évolution team will make its GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club debut this year, fielding twin Toyota GR Supra GT4 Evos, with one car featuring the reigning French GT4 champions and the other an all-female driver line-up.

The team made its competition debut last season in the FFSA French GT Championship, and impressively secured both the Silver drivers’ and teams’ championships with Etienne Cheli and Enzo Joulié, as well as securing third in the Pro-Am Teams’ standings.

For this year the team will expand into the GT4 European Series, fielding two of the latest-generation Toyota GR Supra GT4 Evos. 

Cheli and Joulié will aim to continue their successful partnership and challenge for the European Silver crown, while Matmut will continue its tradition of promoting all-female driver pairings with Gabriela Jilkova and Cindy Gudet sharing the sister car in the Pro-Am class.

Cheli has been a regular frontrunner in both the French and European GT4 championships across recent years. He made his GT4 Europe debut back in 2022 and last year was twice a race winner with the Xwift Racing Events team on his way to fourth in the Silver points. He backed that up with combining with Joulié to claim the Silver French GT4 title, the pair scoring three victories to seal the crown in their first season with Matmut.

Joulié is also a familiar name in GT4 Europe, having narrowly missed the 2022 championship during a dramatic season finale at Barcelona when driving an the NM Racing Team Mercedes-AMG. Last year he competed in a Borusan Otomotive Motorsport-run BMW and was also a podium finisher in ADAC GT4 Germany, as well as lifting the French title alongside Cheli.

Jilkova returns to the GT4 European Series for the first time since 2022, when she competed in a Drago Racing by ZVO Mercedes-AMG. Last year she was a vital part of Matmut’s French GT4 success, securing six podium finishes on her way to third in the Pro-Am points. She has also been a race winner in the German Prototype Cup and GT Winter Series.

Gudet is a new face to the championship, and to GT4 racing. Instead she has an impressive background in hillclimb, rallying and ice racing. She is a six-time French Hillclimb [Championnat de France de la Montagne] champion and will make her GT racing debut with Matmut this season. An FFSA ambassador in 2023, integrated in their plan of feminising motorsport, Cindy is dedicated to promoting motorsport competition to young girls. She fits perfectly into the ‘Volant Matmut 100% Féminin’ programme (Matmut 100% female driver), and the commitment of Groupe Matmut in favour of the representation of women in male-dominated professions.

Matmut Évolution team boss Jérôme Policand says: “Last season marked a real change of direction in terms of sporting, commercial and technical aspects by working with a new manufacturer. We had to 'learn' to run the Toyota GR Supra GT4 Evo as best we could, and in the end, it worked out pretty well. The results were more than satisfying and the technical collaboration with Toyota was perfect.

“The 2024 programme in the GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club is a continuity of what has already been accomplished. This championship is a concentration of the best in European GT4. The level is very high, the competition fierce, and the line-up is very strong. The defending champions of the Silver Cup France title (Etienne Cheli and Enzo Joulié) and our new 100% female crew will be confronting the best in each category. Reaching the top level of the discipline makes perfect sense and the team is highly motivated to take up this new challenge.”