BTCC ace Collard joins British GT record holder Mitchell at Barwell
15-time BTCC race-winner Rob Collard makes his Intelligent Money British GT Championship debut this year after confirming a deal to partner Sandy Mitchell in the second of Barwell Motorsport’s Lamborghinis.
Collard and Mitchell are the fifth senior class Silver Cup pairing to be confirmed after four more were included amongst the 19-strong full-season GT3 entry unveiled during the series’ Media Day at Snetterton yesterday.
Mitchell – who holds the record for youngest-ever British GT win, pole position and fastest lap – contested the GT4 class in 2016 and ’17 before graduating to the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup where he has achieved success with Barwell for the past two years. He also finished second in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo World Finals at the end of last year.
“As a 16-year-old, winning a race in my first season in sportscars, and in the British GT Championship, proved to me that I was capable of competing at the highest levels,” said Mitchell. “I owe the championship a huge amount, certainly in terms of my career development over the two seasons in which I competed. That allowed me to graduate to GT3 racing, and ultimately win races both in the United States and across Europe.
“Now I’m delighted to return to race in Britain, on circuits I know and in a car I’ve raced in during the last two years. I know it’s going to be a huge challenge, racing against the best sportscar drivers in Britain, but I’m coming back determined to mount a serious bid to win the overall British title.
“Rob has a huge amount of motorsport experience at the highest level of saloon car racing and I can’t wait to share the Lamborghini with him. Sure it’s his first season in the British GT Championship, but you don’t win 15 BTCC races without knowing how to handle a car, get the best from it and beat the opposition. That’s something I’m looking forward to doing together.
Indeed, Collard is one of the most recognisable drivers in British motorsport after spending the past 20 years running at the front of the British Touring Car Championship. 2020 represents his first foray into GT racing, although his many seasons driving a rear wheel-drive BMW should stand him in good stead.
However, it was his sons’ recent GT exploits that convinced Collard to switch codes.
“After 20 years in the BTCC I was looking for a fresh challenge in motorsport,” he said. “Watching my sons Ricky and Jordan’s fantastic success over the last few seasons racing in GT3 and GT4 in Europe, I have definitely had my head turned and wanted to try something new. Driving a Lamborghini for such a successful team as Barwell Motorsport will be one of the highlights of my career.
“Alongside such a highly rated Lamborghini young driver as my team-mate Sandy Mitchell, I am sure we will be in for a good season.”
Oulton Park hosts the opening round of this year’s British GT Championship on Easter Bank Holiday Weekend (April 11 & 13). Reserve your tickets here.