Celebrity baker Paul Hollywood is taking time out from Great British Bake Off this weekend – as he’ll be taking to Donington Park in his Aston Martin GT4 in the British GT Championship season finale.
Hollywood races for the Beechdean Motorsport team alongside Jamie Chadwick, and made his championship debut at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium in July.
He’s put on a strong performance so far in the series – finishing sixth place in his last race at Snetterton
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my racing so far in the British GT Championship,” he said. “It’s very tough and it’s been a steep learning curve.
“Has it been more challenging than I expected? Yes, and then some! There’s things that people don’t think about, like when you get in the car you don’t realise just how claustrophobic they are.
“Then of course when you’re wearing all the kit and have things like the HANS [Head and Neck Safety] device and all the window netting and the harness, so it gets very hot inside the car. But it’s great fun and a great challenge.”
The Bake Off star has never raced at the Leicestershire race track before – but he does have a special memory of the European Grand Prix held there in 1993.
“I think it was one of the wettest Grands Prix on record with the most amount of tyre changes,” he comments. “Ayrton Senna overtook all the cars on the first lap and I was stood at the top of the hill watching the racing with a black bin liner over my face with holes in so I could see out.”
The race this weekend is a two hour contest, and Hollywood says he’d be happy just to make it to the end.
He added: “Just finishing the race on Sunday would be great. Snetterton last time out was a good one and more of the same at Donington Park would be ideal. Our sources say qualifying on Saturday could be wet so that may be an added challenge, but Sunday should be dry.”
Fans will be able to get up close and personal with drivers at Donington Park, which features an open paddock. Off track family fun includes trampolines and a giant Scalextric set.