• World’s Fastest Gamer 2 winner James Baldwin ready to fight for more wins in British GT Championship

  • Baldwin has notched up one victory and one pole position thus far

  • Important lessons for Baldwin last time out in first wet weekend

WEST KINGSDOWN, KENT, UK (Thursday, August 27, 2020) – World’s Fastest Gamer 2 winner James Baldwin will be back in British GT action this weekend at one of Britain’s most famous race tracks – Brands Hatch.

The 22-year-old Brit will return to the cockpit of his No. 2 McLaren 720S GT3 driving for Jenson Team Rocket RJN, a team co-owned by 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button. Baldwin and co-driver Michael O’Brien have already notched a win—in their debut race at Oulton Park—and a pole position this season and sit fourth in the Silver Cup points standings. 

Baldwin has raced at the Brands Hatch complex before, racing on the smaller Indy circuit at the facility as part of his licencing for British GT. This will be his first time on the 3.908 km (2.433 mi), nine-turn GP track—a variation of the circuit that hosted 12 Formula 1 Grands Prix between 1964 and 1986.

Unlike the previous two race weekend double headers, only one race will be run at Brands Hatch, giving Baldwin and O’Brien just one opportunity to claim victory like they did at Oulton Park. 

“It’s really incredible what James has accomplished in just two race weekends in the GT3 car,” IDEAS+CARS COO, Jane Chapman said.

“He’s had so much thrown at him with the global shutdown, changing series due to travel restrictions, and having to learn a very complex car very quickly. To achieve this level of success, one win, one pole position, sitting fourth in the points, at the halfway point of his first professional racing season really proves what a talent he is – and the kind of real-world racing talent that exists within esports.

“Brands Hatch will be yet another challenge for him. It’s a mighty quick circuit and there’s little room for error both at the track and within the tight competition of the British GT field. But, James has already proven he can race with the best in that championship and I look forward to seeing him do well this weekend.”

Race fans can watch all the action live on Engine Media’s motorsports news site The-Race.com’s YouTube channel. The Intelligent Money British GT Championship has joined the channel’s impressive schedule that already features the latest Formula 1 news plus live-streamed action from Japan’s Super GT Championship and Super Formula championships plus the Nurburgring Endurance Series.

Q: What are you looking forward to about Brands Hatch?

A: “I’m really excited for Brands Hatch. I’ve been to the Indy circuit a few times last year, it’s going to be a very physical and fast track. There are no real long straights, so you don’t have much time to take a breather. I’m ready to get a good result after a fairly up and down weekend at Donington.

“Donington was a big learning weekend. The results may not have been the best on paper, but I think the situation made it look worse than it was!

“I felt okay, and I definitely did some things wrong, but I tried to take what I learned in race one and apply them in race two. Of course, race two the conditions had changed yet again and it was a little bit drier.

“There were so many variables that weekend and it’s so hard to learn if you’re not in a fixed environment with just one or two things changing, and that was probably the most un-fixed environment we could have had.”

Q: What have you been focusing on in the meantime to get yourself more comfortable in the wet?

A: “I’ve gone through notes and debriefs, but I won’t feel quite as comfortable with the wet until I get more track time, ideally during practice, in the rain. You can look at it on paper, but you never really know until you get back out there in the wet and put it to practice.

“So, I really want to turn more laps in the wet, but not during a session that would affect our results. Plus, I think our car is really good in the dry.

“We did have a really good debrief with the team after that one that was very useful. We did the debrief with Jenson and that was incredibly insightful. He really was the master of changing conditions in Formula 1 so to hear his perspective on what we could change, and what I personally could change, was really helpful.”

Q: What was it like talking with Jenson during the team debrief?

A: “It was really cool. He’s someone I always looked up to and to have him and also Chris Buncombe on the call, that was such a good resource. He’s a really nice bloke and just incredibly knowledgeable. 

“Even though he hasn’t been able to be there firsthand, he knew about every detail from every race, and he has so much experience that he can rely on that. He’s already given me some really good advice. 

“For me, he really emphasized specifically that I wasn’t aggressive enough. I was trying to be a little bit too smooth with my driving instead of taking the conditions one lap at a time and being aggressive where I could be. 

“He equated it to his second year in F1, where it rained more that season than previously and he was doing the exact same thing in the Benetton. He was lacking pace in the wet initially, but after some more track time he got more aggressive and learned how to get pace in the car in the wet. 

“And, clearly it worked because we all know how good he was in the wet later in his career! I took a lot of motivation from that.”