|PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World Rallycross Media|
The GCK team will grow their operation to include four permanent drivers in 2019. The four-car line-up will be split into two separate but permanent teams - GCK and GCK Academy.
Guerlain Chicherit (team owner) will be partnered by European Rallycross Champion Anton Marklund. The pair will be competing in Pro-drive built and developed GCK Megane R.S. RX Supercars.
The all-new GCK Academy team will field RX2 Champion Cyril Raymond and RX2 Vice-Champion Guillaume de Ridder who will compete in a 2019 evolution of the successful GCK Renault Clio R.S. RX Supercars.
FORS Performance has been appointed by the GCK team to facilitate all its race operations from 2019 for both teams.
Chicherit has revealed that he has created the "GCK Academy" team with a vision to provide an opportunity for junior drivers to compete on the world championship stage.
“2019 is a really big year for GCK," said Chicherit. "We debuted the team in the FIA World Rallycross Championship in 2018 and have been working really hard to further develop the GCK Megane R.S. RX, the first car to have been designed and built from scratch to compete in rallycross."
“To now enter the Championship with four cars is a big step," he adds. "It allows me to compete in the GCK Megane R.S. RX alongside Anton who I’ve been working with closely over the last few months but also to support two super talented junior drivers in Cyril and Guillaume to develop in a World Championship driving the GCK Clio R.S. RX. I’m really excited to see what the season will bring.”
Swede Anton Marklund has been working with the GCK outfit since July 2018 and has helped the team develop the cars for the 2019 campaign.
“I raced the GCK Megane in the last three races of the 2018 season and worked with Guerlain to further put together a development list for the car," said Marklund. "Then FORS Performance offered me to help them develop the GCK Clio during the winter which means I got to spend a lot of time and work closely with the team operating the cars this year."
“With all those opportunities ahead of this season, I already feel very much at home in the team. I’m sure that with the development and preparations we all have done during the winter, we have a good chance to race for top spots in the 2019 season," the Swede concluded.
Following a successful 2018 rookie season in the FIA European Rallycross Championship, Cyril Raymond has set his sights on consistently competing for top six positions in 2019, and working closely with his new team-mate de Ridder to bring success to the GCK Academy programme.
“My vision for 2019 is to improve my driving in Supercars and to be a good teammate,” the Frenchman said. “I would like to show my potential behind the wheel but also in the paddock at work. My target is to be in the final of the every race."
"Joining GCK Academy is a really important moment of my career. I have finally become a race driver of the FIA World Rallycross Championship. It’s a dream come true. I’ll never forget this moment.”
Belgium’s Guillaume de Ridder completes the GCK Academy line-up. Team owner Chicherit believes that de Ridder is a future World Rallycross star. Throughout 2018 season the GCK owner monitored De Ridder closely with the intention of presenting a Supercar opportunity to the Belgian.
“Joining the GCK Academy is an incredible opportunity for me," said de Ridder. "Being selected as one of the two junior drivers representing the team is an awesome recognition."
"It has been many years now that I have been working so hard and have given everything I had (sometimes even more than that!) in order to reach the highest level in motorsport, so it is finally a dream come true."
TEXT BY - Junaid Samodien