Jack Butel will join Connor O’Brien aboard the first of Optimum Motorsport’s two Aston Martin GT4 entries this season after the West-Yorkshire squad revealed several new details about its 2019 programme.
The reigning GT3 champions initially announced their GT4 class return back in November when also confirming Ginetta GT5 Challenge graduate O’Brien. He’s joined in the first of Optimum’s new V8 Vantages by Butel, who has spent the past two seasons racing LMP3 machinery in Britain and on the international stage.
The 22-year-old from Jersey tested the Aston Martin at the end of last season but will switch to Optimum’s Ginetta GT4 for this weekend’s 24 Hours of Dubai in preparation for the upcoming campaign.
“It looks like it will be a really competitive and strong field [in British GT],” said Butel. “I have already been talking a lot with Connor about the season ahead and the approach that we’ll take so it’s great we’re working closely together at this early stage.
“I’ll be getting plenty of GT4 seat time in the 24 Hours of Dubai and I can’t wait to begin testing the new Aston Martin – hopefully as soon as February ahead of the media day. Every lap that we can gain in the off-season will help us in the season ahead so we’re hoping not too many Astons attend the media day! With Connor it is a good pairing, we will both learn a lot very quickly, so we are both raring to go.”
Optimum has also confirmed that its Silver Cup-eligible crew will be joined by a second GT4 entry and GT3. Further details are expected in due course.
Donington hosts the championship’s pre-season media day on March 5 before the 2019 campaign begins at Oulton Park on April 20 & 22. Fans can attend media day for free, while tickets for Oulton’s Easter Bank Holiday curtain raiser are available here.
NB: The overwhelming interest from teams has now prompted championship organisers to start a reserve list for potential new entries. Anyone eager to compete in 2019 is advised to contact SRO asap.