Sebastian Priaulx wants his upcoming British GT Championship debut to be the start of a journey towards competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the future.
The 18-year-old, who is the son of three-time World Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx, will co-drive a Multimatic Motorsports-entered Ford Mustang GT4 with Le Mans class winner and team veteran Scott Maxwell this season.
Priaulx won two races in British Formula 4 last year after finishing runner-up in the 2017 Ginetta Junior Championship standings, and is now set to embark on his first year in multi-marque competition.
“It’s a great opportunity and the Mustang is a phenomenal car,” he told Sportscar365.
“To be with Scott, he knows a lot and he races over in America as well. It’s just great to have the chance to now move up the racing ladder.
“Formula 4 is great, but this is what I want, to get into GTs. I really want to get to Le Mans and win Le Mans outright.
“This is definitely a way into Le Mans and I’d love to be a professional in dad’s GT car or something like that, or even LMP1 and LMP2. That’s where I want to be.”
Priaulx continues to take on advice from his father Andy, who currently drives for the Multimatic-run Ford Chip Ganassi Racing squad in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Andy and Sebastian regularly feature in each other’s social media posts and have been training together during the off-season, while Sebastian also sat in to observe the Ford CGR team at the 1000 Miles of Sebring last month.
“It’s great to have my dad there,” said Priaulx.
“He knows a lot about racing and about how hard it is to win. My dad’s thought me a lot about the tough times and the easier times.
“He can teach me how to work my way to get to the top. It’s very hard to get there but he teaches me a lot about that and is a great backup.
“But I don’t always listen to my dad! I speak to Harry Tincknell a lot and the guys around him too. I’ve learned a lot from them.
“For example you’ve always got to perform, it’s not just relaxed, but they’re just having fun and that’s one of the best things I’ve enjoyed about spending time with these guys. That’s the best advice I’ve had.”
Priaulx has not ruled out the possibility of racing for Multimatic in North America, however he suggested that British GT, which kicks off next weekend, will be his primary focus this year.
More than 20 cars have been confirmed for GT4, which races as a sub-class to the GT3 category.
“I could probably do the one-off race [in America] and see what it’s like,” he said.
“But I’m just going to focus on British GT at the moment. I’ve been speaking to the Ford Performance guys and they’re definitely interested in letting me do some racing over there in the Mustang.
“But I’m just going to take it as it goes. We’ll see.”
Priaulx believes that his time in Ginetta Juniors, where he won a total of nine races and also clinched the 2016 Winter Series title, will help him settle into the more powerful 5.2 liter, front-engined Mustang GT4.
“I’m used to these sorts of cars – I’ve driven in Ginettas for a long time,” he said.
“F4 was a big difference – a tough year – but I was quick. The car wasn’t always there for me, but this year I’m really looking forward to British GT.
“I’ve got a great team on the car and I feel like I can jump right into it.”