It has already been a very successful season for Optimum Motorsport in the International GT Open, with Ollie Wilkinson and Jonny Adam making their debut together at the Red Bull Ring last time out and going on to take a dominant overall win.
The 200th International GT Open round was significant in that it was the first victory for the next generation Aston Martin Vantage GT3 in the Championship. Having switched championship class mid-season, the overall title is not a realistic prospect, but Ollie is showing ever-improving pace and going for race wins are the objective over the final six races.
Ollie is reunited with Darren Turner for the Silverstone weekend and a great combination it has proved to be. AMR factory driver Darren jumped into the #96 Vantage GT3 at Hockenheim and together with Ollie helped secure a fine third position in the Pro class.
Victory in last year’s Silverstone round in the Pro-Am category – combined with the momentum gained in recent races this year – means that Ollie, Darren and Optimum head to the home of British motorsport confident of another strong performance.
While no stranger to the Silverstone circuit, recent resurfacing work means that the wealth of data the team have on the circuit is reset somewhat. However, a recent one-day test for the team was especially valuable, with the team aiming to hit the ground running in the first practice session.
Another change for Silverstone is the way in which the grid is determined. Previously in the championship one driver would qualify for one race, the other for the second event. Going forward, both will qualify in each session with the grid position determined by the average lap time.
The two races get underway Saturday at 16.15 and Sunday at 15:00 respectively.
Shaun Goff, Optimum Motorsport Team Principal
“We’ve made great progress this season in GT Open. Ollie has really upped his game – gaining more and more experience – and having Darren help strengthen the package can only be of benefit to us. We’re looking forward to Silverstone, it could be a bit tricky with the new track surface, but we had one day of running there recently, so will help us against our rivals. Wet or dry, the target remains the same and that is more Silverware for the team and Ollie.”
“It’s good to return to Silverstone, it’s the home race of the GT Open for me and the team and we had a good run here last year. We had a one-day test here which was interesting as the circuit has a new surface and it was an important opportunity for us to get some tyre data for the race weekend. Everything went to plan in the test, so we’re looking forward to another good race and another great results with Optimum Motorsport.”
“We had a test on the new surface which was a valuable opportunity and now we head into the race weekend with less learning to do in free practice which is always an advantage and we aim to capitalise on that.
“It’s great to be back with Ollie, he’s really on a roll and gaining more and more confidence which is so impressive given this is third season of racing. His understanding of how to make the tyres work is so critical in the final results and now we have a good base setup for Silverstone we aim to pick up good points in race one and go for the win in the second!”