Bateman joins the GTs

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CHARLES Bateman is preparing for his first season in the British GT Championship - and he is setting his sights on the title.

Boston racer Bateman, 24, has joined Team Scuderia Vittoria in the GT3 class, and will be racing a Ferrari 458.

Bateman comes to the series fresh from four seasons of Porsche Carrera Cup action.

“My four years of Carrera Cup have given me a good grounding in sportscars,” said Bateman.

“But now seems the right time for a change - a new team, a new car, and a new challenge.

“What attracted me most was the team’s ambition. I believe the 458 will prove to be a step-up from its predecessors and will be able to take on the likes of the Mercedes SLS on an equal footing.

“Although we’ve only met recently, my co-driver Mike (Lyons) and I are getting along very well and have the same ambition, so we should make a strong pairing.

“I want to be able to fight for the championship in the first year, so when I compared the package that (the team) brought to the table with the others we were offered, it was clear that this was the strongest.”

The first race of the season will be at Oulton Park in Cheshire on Easter Monday (April 25).

Charles’ sponsors, Pilgrim Foodservice and Henderson Insurance Brokers, have confirmed they will be supporting this new challenge.