Optimum, Johnson and Robinson bullish on British GT Pro-Am chances
Optimum Motorsport completed its first testing programme of the year in the new #501 McLaren 570S GT4 at Donington Park last week and as a result Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson are looking forward to the British GT Championship finale at the same venue this coming weekend.
The team took delivery of the McLaren just ahead of the Silverstone round. Very much facing a steep learning curve during the next three races, the team battled on in the GT4 Pro-Am class and with just the final round remaining, are second in the standings, just 8.5 points behind David Pattison and Joe Osborne.
Significantly, Johnson and Robinson had the opportunity to test the McLaren for the first time since taking delivery. The two-day programme at Donington Park allowed the team to run through comprehensive changes to the car before arriving at a setup much more in tune with the requirements of both drivers.
“We’ve taken big strides in testing – enormous changes and now it feels.. it feels like a race car and it’s still easy to drive, so looking forward to both qualifying and the race and hopefully we’ll get a strong result,” said Johnson.
“We found over a second on one of the test days, but the main thing is the car is now consistent. It’s never easy, but it’s not too difficult now to get a lap time out of the car. If we’d had the chance to test before all of the other races, we would have been a lot more competitive.
“The chance to test has made a huge difference. This year was always about breaking down the campaign to get ready for ‘18. So, we’re looking forward to it.”
The two-day format begins with practice at 9.40 and 12.40 on Saturday, with qualifying 16.50. The race starts Sunday at 13.30.