Racing lines: Can Bradley Gravett beat the odds like his father?

Slippery stepping stones

But is Bradley good enough to hack it? He made his JCW debut at Snetterton this month, following a so-so season in the Mini Cooper Challenge, and although his best result from the three races in Norfolk was 11th, Robb says he was left “massively impressed”, especially in the context of a differential problem that Bradley had to work around. “I will be overly critical,” insists Robb. “But I looked at the in-car camera and, for better or for worse, it looked like me driving. The idea is to get a Gravett back into the BTCC and we have a plan, but we’ll see how JCW goes this year.

“To graduate next year will be difficult,” Robb admits. “He has to be running in the top four in JCW, otherwise he won’t be ready. But if you can drive a JCW, you can drive a touring car. Tom Ingram [the BTCC frontrunner who also coaches JCW drivers] told Bradley that. They have nearly 280bhp from their 2.0-litre turbo engines, a very short wheelbase and they are not easy. It’s a good stepping stone. But LM Performance is so important because it will be Liqui Moly that will take him into touring cars.”

Like father, like son?

Following in the footsteps of a successful parent is a familiar theme in motorsport, but stepping out of that spotlight and into your own is never easy. “He has the advantage that I can help him a lot, and as father and son we actually get on all right!” says Robb. “I think he listened less last year, but he’s listening more this time. It’s a strong learning curve and the BTCC is very competitive. He needs to be fast, to be able to read the data, but he’s effectively working full time on this, and on LM Performance too because he knows that is what will support him. To be a racing driver these days, you have to be a businessman. But one thing you can’t buy is desire. I can see that in him.”


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