Canadian Megan Gilkes expected only to do one round of GB4 this season, but a victory at Snetterton secured her a vial sponsorship deal that kept her on the grid for the full season.
It was an impressive year too, as the former W Series race winner was a regular podium threat, taking two victories in total, plus an additional podium at Silverstone, and a pair of pole positions. Finishing sixth overall in the standings, she helped her Hillspeed team to second in the team’s championship standings.
Here's her thoughts on an excellent GB4 campaign:
I’ve had a fantastic year in GB4, with two race wins, two pole positions, three fastest laps and a lap record, but the best moment for me this season was my feature race win at Donington. From qualifying on pole for race two, to setting the fastest lap and the GB4 Donington race lap record, it was absolutely the highlight of my year.
The toughest moment for me this year was at Brands Hatch. I couldn’t make the test days prior to the event, so my first session on the GP circuit in a GB4 car was qualifying. Given the high level of competition in this championship, it was too much to realistically ask to be able to run near the front that weekend.
Favourite race of the year:
My favourite race was the one that I won at Donington. Beyond becoming the only female to win a feature race in GB4 this year, I really enjoyed battling wheel to wheel with Nik Taylor, the series champion. I started from pole but didn’t make the best of starts, and Nik got by into Redgate. For the next couple of laps I kept the pressure on him, and he made a slight mistake at the chicane that let me have a go into the Melbourne Loop. Once I got by, I put my head down and built up a gap. I felt it was the best drive I put in all season.
Favourite driver to race against:
Hmm tough one. Really impressed with Nik Taylor who was a very deserving champion, and taking on multiple BRDC young drivers in equal equipment this season was fun. Watching the evolution of Chloe Grant over the year was also awesome to see and I wish her all the best in the upcoming Ferrari Young Driver test.
That what if moment:
Silverstone. The previous round at Snetterton I had picked up a three place grid penalty for being a bit overzealous coming through the reverse grid race. It meant I missed starting on pole in Silverstone race one and ultimately meant I picked up a puncture from debris on the first lap which I should have been ahead of. Despite having to pit, Hillspeed did a great job to get me out at the back of the safety car queue, and we made it back onto the podium, but in truth we probably had the speed to have picked up a win that weekend.
If I could race anything next year:
If I could race anything next year, I would love to be able to compete in GB4 again or even progress to GB3. At the start of the year, I didn’t expect to be racing in a slicks and wings championship at all, but thanks to Quattro Group for their amazing support, I was able to do the full GB4 season. I’d love to be able to continue working with Quattro in the future, and see where we can go together! My brother Nick raced in GB3 this season, and with GB4 supporting GB3 at so many events I got to see first-hand the professionalism and level of talent in the series. I would love to either come back for a championship challenge in GB4 or try my hand against some of the best young drivers out there in GB3.
I'm going to spend the winter doing:
Over the winter, I will be working at Silverstone for Aston Martin Formula 1 in the trackside support department for my placement year out of university. I started working there in August, and have absolutely loved every minute of the coolest job ever!