Stratton Motorsport will field a two pronged, double manufacturer British GT4 entry this season after confirming David Tinn and Robin Marriott aboard an Aston Martin V8 Vantage, and Robin Shute and Will Hunholz behind the wheel of an ex-works Lotus Evora.
The Norfolk-based squad returns for its second year of British GT having previously helped run both UltraTek Lotuses and enjoyed a handful of outings with Aston Martin machinery last season.
Indeed, reigning Aston Martin GT4 Cup champion Tinn made his only British GT appearance to date with Stratton at the team’s home circuit, Snetterton, in 2015 as part of a toe-in-the-water exercise alongside Jade Edwards.
And after also contesting last year’s AMOC Intermarque Championship with Stratton he felt the time was right for a full-time British GT campaign.
“Both myself and Robin made huge strides last year with Stratton Motorsport and are very much looking forward to the challenge that the British GT4 Championship offers,” said Tinn. “We are both very much aware of the leap we are making but are confident in our recent progress and, with the support we receive from Stratton, believe we can surpass expectations.”
Tinn is joined in the car by chief Aston Martin GT4 Cup title rival and eventual 2015 runner-up Marriott who has also contested the Mazda MX-5 SuperCup and AMR Le Mans Festival in recent years.
Anglo-American pair set to share ex-works Lotus
Stratton’s other entry features a partnership new to European racing but one that has already achieved success Stateside where Shute and Hunholz have previously driven GT cars together.
Norfolk-born Shute moved to California to continue working as a chassis systems engineer several years ago, during which time he began racing.
“An impromptu foray in a 25 hour endurance race has given me the bug for GT racing,” he said. “I've spent the last couple of years competing around tracks in California in single-seaters, embarrassing some big professional teams along the way.
“Ironically it was working for a successful Californian electric car company that gave me the opportunity to start racing; I'm effectively offsetting the carbon offsetting I've achieved with my job!
“Being a Norfolk boy it's great to be running with Stratton Motorsport and the Lotus marque. We will be running with such a competitive car. I will be doing everything I can to keep Mr Chapman's legacy at the front of the competition!
“I am really looking forward to working with my co-driver Will. He is a quick GT driver and we worked well together. I am looking forward to pushing each other’s pace through the season.”
Hunholz has a successful record of racing customer GTs in the US with his own SpeedTrixx Motorsport team, but the opportunity to drive effectively a factory car in Europe proved an opportunity too good to miss.
The preparation of Stratton’s Evora GT4 will be assisted by Hethel-based Pangean Engineering, Lotus Motorsport and the Lotus Driving Academy.
Stratton Motorsport boss Roger Bennington added: “We are delighted to bring new drivers to the British GT Championship. We are confident that they can both deliver excellent results with our team’s strong professional heritage in motorsport.
“And as for David and Robin, we are delighted to continue our already fruitful relationship. Following recent tests on the Pirelli tyres we are confident that they can both continue the exceptional progress made last year.”
Both Stratton-run cars will be present at next Tuesday’s British GT Media Day at Snetterton.
DID YOU KNOW?
Will Hunholz is the first American to race in British GT since 2014 when Mark Patterson finished 12th in the GT3 category driving a United Autosports-entered Audi R8 LMS alongside Matt Bell.