Johnson and Robinson make McLaren switch with Optimum Motorsport
Having competed in the British GT championship with Ginetta over the past three seasons, Optimum Motorsports confirms that reigning GT4 Champions Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson will switch to a McLaren 570S GT4 with immediate effect having completed a successful test recently at Silverstone.
“Having run Ginetta GT4 cars successfully, winning the 2013 and 2016 British GT4 championship and I'm really excited to be able to now expand our knowledge of another manufacturer under our umbrella,” said Team Principal Shaun Goff. “We will continue with Ginetta in GT4 programmes globally as it's still the best value car out there.”
Snetterton marked the last race for both Johnson and Robinson in the Ginetta and they are now all set for the next round of the championship which takes place at Silverstone this coming weekend (10-11 June, 2017).
"The move to McLaren is about Mike and I taking on a new challenge having won the title last year," said Johnson. "We looked at various options for 2017 in the off-season, but nothing worthwhile came together. Then we got the chance to test the McLaren and we were immediately won over by it.
"We couldn't believe what a different experience the McLaren gives to the Ginetta. It's a very 'easy' car to drive quickly, whereas the Ginetta is more an out-and-out racer: hot, noisy, and on a knife-edge. Both the Ginetta and the McLaren have their merits and we'll unquestionably miss our Ginetta at some circuits, but it's time for us to see what we can do in another car."
Snetterton marked the last race for both drivers in the Ginetta and they are now all set for the next round of the championship which takes place at Silverstone this coming weekend (10-11 June, 2017).
"We're realistic about our chances at Silverstone," Johnson continued. "The team only collected the car from the factory today (5 June), and Mike and I have completed just eight laps each in McLaren's development car.
"Collectively, we've a tremendous amount to learn in a very short period of time, but I trust Optimum Motorsport will ensure the car is reliable, while Mike and I know we can mix it at the front in whatever car we drive. This move is not only about a new challenge, but also about giving us what we feel is the best chance to keep fighting.
"A podium finish would be nice, but I think the first goal has to be to complete every lap of the three-hour race. That's a feat we've never managed in previous years!"
The duo are currently fourth in the GT4 championship, just 2.5 points shy of third position.
Practice gets underway Friday morning at 9.30am, with qualification on Saturday at 16.05. The race takes place Sunday at 13.30 and will be streamed on Facebook.