2024: New livery for Paddock’s unchanged GT3 line-up

2024: New livery for Paddock’s unchanged GT3 line-up

+ Smith and Plowman return with McLaren

Paddock Motorsport return to the Intelligent Money British GT3 ranks this year with the unchanged Pro-Am line up of Mark Smith and Martin Plowman.

Continuity will be key to the American racer who showed flashes of potential alongside co-team owner and former WEC champion Plowman throughout 2023. They were also consistent, as proven by being one of just two pairings to score Pro-Am points in all nine races.

Their McLaren 720S GT3 Evo also returns after an unfortunate qualifying accident in October’s finale forced Paddock to swap chassis overnight. 

That level of work ethic and dedication saw Paddock twice win the Intelligent Money Team of the Weekend Award in 2023. Now its focus is solely on silverware of a different kind as it bids to become a regular front runner.

“I’m really excited for British GT in 2024,” said Smith who debuted with Paddock at the end of 2022. “Last season was a challenging one for us, defined by a lot of bad luck masking what was otherwise some really good pace. Although some great drives always brought us back into the mid-pack by the finish, that’s not enough when you’re up against the other teams and drivers in this championship, the level is so high. 

“To compete at the top of British GT you need great drivers, great pace, a great team and a little luck. I’ve seen all of these qualities from Paddock, and I’m convinced we can compete at the front at this level. I expect 2024 to be the year we do exactly that.”

The spare car Paddock ran at Donington featured a predominantly black livery that suited the 720S. However, that is not the sole reason for a major change this year. Instead, the new pink and carbon ensemble is a throwback to Plowman’s FIA WEC world title and Le Mans-winning exploits with OAK Racing in 2013.

“This season is going to be a big one, not just for myself and Mark, but for Paddock Motorsport as a whole as the team continues to grow and evolve,” said Plowman. “A huge amount of work has gone in over the winter to ensure we start 2024 in the best possible position. There’s no doubt that Mark and I are planning to hit the ground running this year and attack from the very start. 

“Mark’s driving has developed incredibly well across the last year, to the point where he was among the fastest amateur drivers on the grid. If it wasn’t for more than a few doses of bad luck, we’d have been fighting for the big scores for at least the last half of 2023. This year he comes back with experience of all the circuits, whereas he was having to learn many on the fly last year without testing, and that knowledge will only make him faster. 

“As a team we were also having to learn and adapt to the new 720S GT3 Evo, with the upgraded car arriving during the season. We now have a great understanding of the Evo upgrades, and I have every confidence that the technical team we have onboard will continue to unlock the car’s secrets across the year. It’s also special to run the carbon-pink livery, which harks back to an incredible time in my career when I achieved world championship success. Hopefully it can be a good omen in British GT too. Combined, we have a really strong package for this season, and I’m excited about what 2024 can bring.”

Paddock has also recruited wisely ahead of the new season, with the addition of multiple title-winning engineer Simon Pollock. Pollock was a key part of Plowman and Kelvin Fletcher’s British GT4 Pro-Am championship-winning campaign back in 2019 and joins Paddock for 2024 having previously worked with organisations such as Aston Martin Racing (Prodrive), RJN, TF Sport and Redline Racing.

Paddock’s British GT4 programme will be revealed at a later date.