> Iribe/Millroy and Crader/Mortimer join Wilkinson/Proctor
Two more McLaren 720S GT3s will further bolster the Intelligent Money British GT Championship’s monster #Silverstone500 entry this weekend courtesy of Optimum Motorsport.
Full-season regulars Ollie Wilkinson and Lewis Proctor are joined by the team’s GT Open Pro-Am class front-runners Brendan Iribe and Ollie Millroy, while Mark Crader and Alex Mortimer make the switch from Le Mans Cup’s LMP3 ranks.
Iribe and Millroy were originally scheduled to contest British GT4 together this year with Optimum before the re-jigged calendar forced a change of programme and car. Instead, the pair have raced the 720S with considerable success in GT Open’s Pro-Am class en route to fifth in the final standings.
“There are many great options for us to run in GT3 equipment in a variety of championships. The fact that this final round of the British GT Championship takes place at Silverstone, a track we both know and one of the greatest tracks in Europe – even in November – makes it especially appealing,” said Millroy. “I love the championship, and I know Brendan has watched every lap of every round this year in his spare time. He’s excellent in wet conditions, so we are both looking forward to it.
“It will be a challenge for me as well as I have only ever made one start in this championship and that was back in 2012. In addition, I have raced for the last eight years almost exclusively on Michelin tyres. I think I have only done one race on the Pirellis in that time, so it will be interesting and we’re both looking forward to our first three-hour endurance together.”
On the other side of the garage is 2007 British GT3 champion Mortimer and his Le Mans Cup co-driver Crader who also won the Radical European Masters Supersport title two years ago. Travel restrictions have resulted in a truncated 2020 programme, but the Pro-Am pairing are looking forward to the challenge this weekend brings.
“For me personally, I’m really excited to be going back to the British GT Championship,” said Mortimer. “I have very fond memories from my 2006-2011 period there, including winning the championship in 2007! Mark and I are keen to do this event as with the travel issues we have had limited race options this year. Mark remains fully committed to racing LMP3 prototypes going forward, but this is a good opportunity for him to get a taste of GT3 racing and at a circuit that he knows so well.
“We don’t really have any expectations for the race, it will be a steep learning curve with a new car and with a tyre that we don’t know that well. We have managed to test in both wet and the dry at Silverstone, but it’s a case of going in, competing and above all, enjoying the event. We know from our races in Le Mans Cup, we always move forward on race day, so we know it will be tough, but we’re both really looking forward to it.”
Optimum team principal Shaun Goff added: “While it has been a busy GT3 schedule for us already this year, we’re very happy to be expanding our programme in British GT for this final round. Ollie and Brendan were keen to run in this event as it’s a three-hour race and it’s at Silverstone, a circuit that they both know so well.
“For Alex and Mark, travel restrictions and subsequent quarantine rules has limited their LMP3 programme this year, so they are keen to race on UK soil and in such a competitive series. As ever, the Optimum Motorsport team will be flat out to provide them with competitive machinery for this, our last UK race of the season!”
One more GT4 entry will be announced on Tuesday before the #Silverstone500 grid – comfortably British GT’s largest of the season – is revealed in full on Wednesday morning.
Covid measures will prevent spectators from attending British GT’s #SilverstoneShowdown. However, fans around the world can watch the three-hour season finale live on British GT’s Facebook page and website, as well as SRO’s GT World Youtube channel, from 12:50 GMT on November 8.