Optimum Motorsport opted to take part in the second round of the GT Cup last weekend as a one off to gain valuable experience of the Grand Prix Circuit at Brands Hatch. With no real expectations heading into the event, the team dominated with three race victories.
Ollie Wilkinson and Bradley Ellis teamed up once again behind the wheel of the #96 Audi R8 LMS and got the programme off to a flying start by topping the first free practice session and the theme continued into qualifying where Ollie claimed the pole position for the first race by a respectable four-tenths of a second.
Making his debut in the category, Wilkinson dominated the race from the pole position, taking the chequered flag an impressive 23 seconds clear of the field. Ollie qualified second for race, but with the #7 Mosler failing to start, Ollie was able to establish a commanding 15 lead by the end of the race.
Race three saw Ollie take the first stint in the lead ahead of the #12 Aston Martin before handing over to Bradley who brought the R8 home half a minute ahead of the chasing pack. It was the prefect end to a flawless weekend from both drivers and the Optimum Motorsport team.
“Having set the objectives of gaining good experience around the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, we’re super happy to come away with three wins,” stated team principal Shaun Goff. “We will now refocus on our GT Open campaign and look to continue winning silverware. A great weekend, so a big thank you to all of the team.”
For Bradley, he was delighted to see his protégé continue to shine in what is his first full season of GT racing.
“Ollie took on the challenge of learning Brands Hatch GP circuit in his stride,” said Ellis. “He topped the time-sheets in every session and kept improving personal bests all weekend; proving to myself and the team that he is dedicated to improving his performance every time he sits in the seat.
“We loved being at the GT Cup weekend as it was a real relaxed and enjoyable race weekend where everybody was super-professional and very friendly.”
Over at Thruxton, Geri Nicosia and Connor O’Brien were back in action in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge and it proved to be another successful weekend. Geri won the first race in style and finished runner-up in the second to leave him in second in the championship within striking distance of leader James Kellett. Connor also showed good form with a strong fourth-place finish.
The next outing for the Audi will be back to the GT Open for Round 3 at Spa-Francorchamps 9-10 June. The team will be racing in Snetterton this weekend in the British GT Championship, seeking their second race win of the season.