Four drivers, three nationalities, one McLaren for inception racing and the Spa 24H challenge
The third round of GT World Challenge Europe takes place this coming weekend (31 July – 1 August) and quite a challenge it will be for the 60-plus entries taking part in the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa. For inception racing, it is also a fresh challenge for drivers Brendan Iribe and Ollie Millroy, who are joined for the blue riband event by Jordan Pepper and Kevin Madsen.
The Optimum Motorsport run team have been as busy as ever in recent weeks, entering its first FIA World Endurance Championship race at Monza, quickly followed by round four of the International GT Open Championship at Imola. Now the team are fully focused on the Spa 24 Hours, arguably the toughest race on the GT3 race calendar.
Ollie took part in the Dubai 24 Hours earlier in the year, but for Brendan - now in just his second season of competitive GT3 competition - this will be the American racer’s first 24-hour experience. The addition of Kevin and Jordan make for an exciting and all-new four-driver line-up featuring two Bronze, one Silver and one Gold graded FIA rated racers.
Jordan is best known in racing circles for his 2020 Bathurst 12 Hour race win as well as his wealth of experience as a Bentley driver dating back to the 2017 Intercontinental GT Challenge.
More recently, The South African has dominated the 2021 edition of GT World Challenge America pro-class with K-PAX Racing, securing three wins from six starts in his Lamborghini Huracán GT3, as well as two further runner-up positions. Kevin meanwhile is well-versed with the careers of both Brendan and Ollie, having been involved with the former in road car driving advice and the latter in terms of stunt work for the movie industry.
"Firstly, a huge thanks goes out to Brendan and Ollie for the opportunity to join them at Spa! It’s a race that I love so much, and I’m really excited to be heading back to the Ardennes with a new look and feel for 2021 entering in the Pro-Am class.
"Obviously only having fought for overall victories in the past, it will be an interesting new challenge, but I couldn’t have asked to join a better bunch of guys at inception racing. Both Brendan and Ollie are extremely fast and impressive in the car, and I learnt a lot at the test from them, so I’m sure with myself and Kevin who are joining for the 24 hours, we will have a chance to fight for the win. I hope to bring as much help and experience as possible to the team and I look forward to the great challenge that lies ahead of us."
“I’m so pumped to be the second American racing driver in the inception racing team for the Spa 24 hours. It’s been a quick timeline the past few weeks, but I’ve been fortunate to play a very small role in Brendan’s driving career from the beginning and combined with the stunt driving Ollie and I have done together, the ever-important team dynamic is just awesome.
“It’s basically hanging out with a couple good friends while pushing together to bring home a result at this epic endurance race. The addition of Jordan Pepper is superb, and I’ve been impressed with his talent and attitude from the get-go. That coupled with this top-notch Optimum Motorsport team and the savvy leadership of experienced Spa veteran Bas Leinders should make us one Pro-Am car to watch!”
“Its great to have Jordan and Kevin with us for the Spa 24 Hours and I know we’re all really looking forward to racing at Spa-Francorchamps following our recent success in GT Open and a great test a few days later. Any 24-Hour race is a mega challenge for all of us, everything must run perfectly if we are to be in the battle for Pro-Am honours in the closing hours, but I’m sure Brendan will enjoy his first 24 Hour event and we can – together - put ourselves into winning contention.”