Matt Parry will make his sportscar racing debut next month, having agreed a deal to race in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup in 2017.
The Bury St Edmunds-raised racer makes the switch from single-seaters having reached the heights of GP3, standing atop the podium last year and posting top ten championship finishes in each of his campaigns.
The 23-year-old joins RJN Motorsport after impressing in a series of GT tests over the winter, and will partner Jersey’s Struan Moore and Australia’s Matt Simmons in all five Blancpain endurance rounds this season.
Despite having focused on single-seaters since graduating from a successful karting career, Parry insists that he will have no trouble adapting to the very different sportscar arena.
“After racing in GP3 for two years, we evaluated our options over the winter and, while there were opportunities to continue in single-seaters, the chance to link up with a team like RJN and run in a championship-winning car like the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 was too good to pass up,” he explained.
“I already had a taste for GTs following the McLaren Autosport BRDC assessment, and getting the chance to test different cars in the last few months convinced me that it was the right time to make the step over to sportscars - and endurance racing in particular. That was a big attraction of this deal as endurance racing is one of the few things missing from my CV, and I’m really looking forward to testing myself in the cauldron of Blancpain competition.”
The 2017 Blancpain GT Championship Endurance Cup comprises five rounds, starting at Monza (Italy) over April 22-23 and taking in events at Silverstone (UK), Paul Ricard (France) and Spa Francorchamps (Belgium), before culminating at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona (Spain) in early October.
“The Spa 24 Hours is an exciting addition to my schedule for 2017, but obviously I’m looking forward to working with my new team-mates and bringing home good results for RJN, Nissan and NISMO at all five rounds,” Parry said.
“I already know all of the circuits, having raced on them in Formula Renault and GT3, and Nissan and RJN have been successful there in the past, so I’m confident that we’ll be competitive everywhere we go this season.
“I can’t wait to get started on this new adventure.”