Tolman Motorsport makes its Intelligent Money British GT Championship return at Donington Park next weekend when Ian Stinton and Jordan Witt drive the team’s newly acquired Bentley Continental GT3.
The squad narrowly missed out on the GT4 Teams’ title in 2018 and ’19 before the coronavirus pandemic curtailed its involvement with McLaren’s DDP programme. The upcoming #DoningtonDecider will therefore be its first British GT outing since appearing at the same venue two years ago, as well as its maiden GT3 appearance since running two Ginetta G55s in 2016.
Tolman’s Silver-Am duo also packs plenty of British GT experience. Stinton made his debut all the way back in 2000 at the wheel of a Marcos Mantis, was part of Tolman’s previous GT3 foray in 2016, and counts the only surviving Harrier GT1-98 amongst his diverse collection of British GT cars.
“I was supposed to race elsewhere over the Donington weekend but when those plans fell through I started looking around at other options, and they don’t come any more exciting than this!” he said. “Of course, Tolman and myself are coming into this without any experience of the Bentley, and everyone else has already got at least six weekends under their belts this year. But I just couldn’t say no to such an incredible opportunity.
“The Bentley is an absolute brute, just like some of the British GT cars I used to race in and against all those years ago when we didn’t have ABS or Traction Control. There’s something about those raw race cars that really appeals to me, and I guess the Bentley is the closest we have to that now even though I imagine it’s still a much more refined experience.”
Witt, meanwhile, scored his first overall win at Snetterton last season en route to fourth in the GT3 Silver Cup standings aboard 2Seas’ McLaren. He also brings first-hand knowledge of the Bentley after racing Team Parker’s Continental in 2019.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to not only come back and race in British GT, but to also reunite with the Bentley Continental – I can’t wait for Donington,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to racing with Ian for the first time, and to be joining Chris [Tolman] and the guys at Tolman Motorsport. The team has a huge amount of experience and is an incredibly professional operation.
“My intention is to bring the experience I have of the Bentley from a couple of years ago to enable Tolman to develop the car and have a solid foundation to build on. Personally, I’m delighted to be back in British GT for the season finale and aiming to do the very best job I can for Tolman on the team’s maiden race with the Continental GT3.”
Tolman is working closely with M-Sport, who oversee the Bentley’s development, build and spares service. It’s hoped this one-off appearance will pave the way for a full-season entry in 2022.
“We’ve been focusing on the business’ restoration work since 2020 but there’s a reason we’re called Tolman Motorsport and I’m keen to see that side of things return full-time next season!” said team owner Chris Tolman. “The team is still equipped to go racing at the highest level but finding a suitable programme during two particularly tricky years hasn’t been easy. Now this opportunity to run a Bentley makes our intentions very clear and will hopefully open a few doors next season.”
Paddock Motorsport currently operate British GT’s only full-season Bentley, which claimed pole position last time out at Oulton Park in the hands of Kelvin Fletcher.
Tolman’s example is not eligible to score points on October 17 when this year’s GT3 Drivers’ Championship will be decided.