> Second GT3 line-up expected shortly
RAM Racing’s Ian Loggie and Yelmer Buurman are returning to the Intelligent Money British GT Championship this season with their sights firmly set on winning the overall GT3 title.
The Silverstone-based squad, which is also in the final stages of confirming its second Mercedes-AMG pairing, fell just short of claiming outright honours last season courtesy of eventual runners-up Sam de Haan and Patrick Kujala. But with Silver-Silver crews now outlawed, it’s the team’s reigning Pro-Am champions who will be rightly considered amongst 2021’s title favourites.
Indeed, the duo scored four class wins to beat Adam Balon and Phil Keen to the Pro-Am crown, while three outright podiums helped them secure fifth in the overall standings. Both have also notched up overall wins, albeit with different co-drivers: Loggie twice with Callum Macleod (2017 & ’19), and Buurman with Lee Mowle in 2018.
This year RAM’s #6 machine will undergo a colour change from lime green to vivid pink, running in support of Cure Leukaemia, the blood cancer charity. The car also wears the logo of the charity’s Tour 21 fundraising event. Officially backed by the Tour de France and taking place the week before the professional event this June, Loggie will be one of just 25 amateur cyclists who will tackle the full 21-stage course, raising funds for the fight against leukaemia.
“There are many things in life that I’ve always wanted to do, and 2021 may well be the year I get to tick a few of those boxes,” said Loggie. “This year it will be a full-on attempt to win the British GT Championship, and alongside Yelmer I know I stand a very good chance of fighting for the title after a great season last year.
“Being part of the Tour 21 will also be incredibly special, and these new colours reflect a great cause. I used to watch the Tour de France on black and white TV, and now I’m part of a team, riding just days ahead of the professionals, aiming to raise £1 million for the charity. It should be fantastic, and British GT is an amazing platform to help spread the word about an amazing cause.”
Buurman, meanwhile, is confident the revamped class structure will play into his and Loggie’s hands.
“I’m really excited to come back to British GT this year with RAM Racing, and to drive alongside Ian again,” said the Dutchman. “Last year was pretty tough as it became clear quite early on that a Silver-Silver pairing would win the overall title. Us Pro-Ams couldn’t quite live with them if there was a safety car or any kind of interruption. This year will be different and we’re 100 per cent out for the overall championship.
“Ian has progressed so well in his driving over the last year. He listens and learns very quickly, and has the skill to make changes to his technique to get faster each time he goes out. It’s fantastic to work with a driver like that, and I know RAM will give us a car capable of fighting for this championship.”
With a year under their belts, RAM Racing team principal Dan Shufflebottom believes his Pro-Am champions are more than capable of fighting for the overall crown.
“It’s great to confirm the first part of our British GT Championship plans, and we’re delighted to welcome both Ian and Yelmer back,” he said. “Ian is a fantastic gentleman racer and a superb guy to work with, while Yelmer is a true pro and showed his speed on more than the odd occasion with us last year. Together they enjoyed a really strong campaign last year, and if they can replicate that this season then they’ll definitely be in the title fight.
“We’re in the final stages of confirming our second driver pairing, and we’ll be announcing the drivers soon.”
Brands Hatch hosts the opening round of this season’s Intelligent Money British GT Championship on May 22/23.