The 22-year-old had been racing in the UK in several Formula Ford series, but in October last year he travelled to Chicago to explore making the switch from single-seaters to sports cars.
Michael travelled with his father and manager Andrew, who said: ‘It’s very easy to pick up a drive if you have a lot of money to spend. However, we only have a small budget so we need to make sure that every penny works for Michael’s future. Michael also has a
degree in motorsport management, so he understands the business side of the industry as well.
‘We are working with a couple of great mentors we met during our trips to the US in 2017 and they have been a real influence in deciding the way forwards. One of Michael’s mentors is the racing director for the US Porsche GTLM team, so he has all the contacts and knowledge for us to work with.’
To that end, Michael is now well-placed for inclusion in the Mazda MX5 Global Cup series for 2018/19. This series is a feeder competition for young drivers and is now a support race for the Verizon IndyCar series and is also supported by Pro-Mazda, USF2000 and the Indy Lights series.
‘All the advice I’m getting is to start my US racing in the Global Cup series as it’s well recognised as a great series to move on from and is a
defining part of the Mazda Road To Indy and the Mazda Road to IMSA programme,’ Michael said.
Michael has been invited by Mazda Motorsports US to attend their spring training and test weekend for three days at the beginning of March. The training and testing takes place at the fabulous Barber Motorsports Circuit, in Birmingham, Alabama.
‘All the right people from Mazda Motorsports US, promoters for Pro-Mazda and the Indy Car series, will be there, along with all the teams that will be racing in 2018, so it is a great networking opportunity, and for the three days I will be testing in one the new MX5 Global Cup series cars for Long Road Racing. They are the manufacturers and convert the Mazda MX5 from a road car into a race car. These cars are all-out race cars fitted with sealed SKYACTIV-G 2-litre four-cylinder engines. The handling looks amazing as the cars are also fitted with BF Goodrich slick racing tyres, so I am really excited by this opportunity,’ said Michael.
Andrew added: ‘Once this weekend is over, we need to find corporate or individual partners to support Michael’s racing and meet the sponsorship requirements from the teams. We are working with a marketing company, CMB Automotive Marketing, who are based at Silverstone but also have offices in Detroit to achieve the funding for this. In addition we have always tried to promote Jersey through Michael’s racing, so we would love to have a local company on board with us either from a tourism perspective or to promote Jersey’s reputation as a leading international finance centre.’
Anyone interested can contact Andrew by email, email@example.com, by mobile on 077977 24773, through Michael’s social media pages, Twitter: @mrgracing, Instagram: mrg_racing or Facebook: Michael Gibaut Racing.