The announcement that Emil Frey Jaguar Racing will compete at the 70th edition Total 24 Hours of Spa brought the number of brands contesting the Belgian endurance classic to 13.
This is a significant addition to the field. Because, as a highly competitive Silver Cup entry, the #54 machine of Alex Fontana, Mikael Grenier and Adrian Zaugg is a strong contender for class honours in what will be the Jaguar G3’s final year of Blancpain GT Series competition.
All three members of the Jaguar crew are hungry for success. They are recent single-seater graduates who have competed against the best in the world during their short careers and are now beginning to forge their own reputations in GT racing.
In Blancpain GT Series terms, Fontana is the most experienced of the trio, though at 25 he’s anything but a veteran. Born and raised in Switzerland and with strong Greek ancestry, he is building his career in the series as a versatile young driver – and one with an appreciation for the history of the sport.
LEARNING THE ROPES
Like so many racers, Fontana inherited his passion from his father, who competed in go-karts and briefly dabbled with single-seaters. The son was just three and a half years old when he first sat behind the wheel of a go-kart, but he quickly progressed to winning national titles in Switzerland and competing internationally.
That kind of experience would suggest that a move into single-seaters was inevitable. But, while his father has been a vital part of Fontana’s career, he was not initially convinced that this was the right way to go.
“In the beginning, my dad wanted me to stay in go-karts, because it was something he knew very well,