Optimum announce exciting British line-up for 24 Hours of Barcelona
Optimum Motorsport, the UK’s top Ginetta racing team, head to Spain this weekend (4-6 September) for what will be a hotly-contested penultimate round of the 24H Series, the 24H BARCELONA at Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya.
Some 74 teams are registered for the fifth event of the 2015 24H Series, and Optimum Motorsport has assembled a potent driving crew comprising of Mugello 12 Hour SP3 class victors, Bradley Ellis (GBR), Ade Barwick (GBR), Flick Haigh (GBR), and promising British GT racer, Will Moore (GBR).
It’s the first time that Optimum Motorsport has competed at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya, but the team arrives in Spain this week with a solid understanding of the grueling requirements that a 24-hour race puts on a team, and an unrivalled knowledge of the Ginetta G55 GT4 with which the all British driving crew will challenge this weekend.Now in its eighth year as Optimum Motorsport, the Yorkshire-based outfit has successfully completed four major 24 Hour races, winning two (24H Dubai 2012 and 2015), while also taking two top-six finishes in the Middle Eastern classic in 2013 and 2014. The victory in Dubai earlier this year also saw Ellis and Barwick feature in the line-up alongside Salih Yoluc and Euan Hankey.
The SP3 class that Optimum will look to dominate has its usual variety of GT4 cars with Lotus, Aston Martin, Porsche, BMW, Saker, and Maseratis taking on a distinguished group of Ginetta squads.Following optional private tests on Thursday and Friday, official track action starts on Friday afternoon with free practice (15:30-16:30 BST) and qualifying (17.00-18.45 BST), followed by night practice (19:45-21:15 BST).On Saturday the race starts at 11am BST and ends 24 hours later.
“We come to Barcelona this weekend with every chance of taking the win in class. With drivers of the calibre of Brad, Flick and Will, we have arguably the strongest line-up in the class. We’ve just got to re-enact the spirit of Mugello, get Will settled into the 24 hour race mode of operation and we’ll be fine. I raced against Will in British GT this year and then we raced together in the Aston Martin Festival at Le Mans this year too. He’s also local to me in Harrogate, so we’ll both have a job on our hands adjusting to the warmth of Barcelona if the sun comes out; potentially it’ll be warmer than Dubai if it stays dry, so that’ll be interesting!”
“We’ve had a really good run in the 24H series, so we are definitely going for the win this weekend. I love the circuit, it's going to be difficult there as it’s notoriously hard on tyres and is very narrow in places. We need to make sure everyone gets enough practice as I am the only one in the team to have driven the Barcelona circuit, track time is always key in enduros, especially when three of you haven’t got on-track experience of it! Ade and I had a really good time driving with Flick in Mugello, and I’m really happy we’ve added Will. He seems like a very capable driver and I think he’ll be a good addition to the team this weekend. We’re taking every race one at a time in the 24H Series, which matches my take on racing; I go to win every race, so I will just do the best I can and see how we end up at the end of the year.”
“I’m really looking forward to driving with Brad and Ade after our win in Mugello, which is probably the most memorable win of my career. Hopefully we can repeat that achievement in Spain. Barcelona is a really good circuit and while I’ve not raced on it before, I’m really familiar with it from simulator work prior to the weekend. We’re not short of competition again this weekend, but as with any 24 hour race, it really is about who’s left the morning after the night before. Optimum always produces a really good car, and I think we’ll be at the sharp end on Sunday afternoon come rain or shine.”