Optimum Motorsport banking on top British GT results to 'Rock' the opposition
The opening round of the Pirelli British GT Championship was a mixed bag for Optimum Motorsport, as a dominant and controlled GT4 class victory was tempered by a DNF for its GT3 entry, but the Wakefield team is naturally hoping to turn the tables and achieve representative results in both classes in Round 2 of the 2016 season at Rockingham Motor Speedway (30 April-1 May).
Optimum Motorsport’s GT4 pairing, Mike Robinson and Graham Johnson, got their season off to a flyer. The pair laid solid foundations for a British GT title push by translating their supreme pace and a front-row grid position into a race victory on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit.
Glory in GT4 made Will Moore’s and Ryan Ratcliffe’s retirement all the more disappointing for the teammates. Their race pace was more than sufficient to achieve a targeted top five result and they were ascending the timing screens with their Audi R8 LMS, therefore the aim for the forthcoming weekend at ‘The Rock’ remains the same, to finish fifth or higher.
Optimum Motorsport Team Principal, Shaun Goff, said: “In GT4, the season started exactly how we wanted. We knew we were capable of winning and to deliver on that promise was very satisfying. We expect to be fighting at the front once again at Rockingham, but the additional 20-second pit stop penalty for winning at Brands Hatch will make it difficult to take victory. Regardless of that, we continue push and a podium is the minimum target.
“The target in GT3 is slightly different. To put it simply, the target is to score points. The outcome of the opening round wasn’t ideal, but we have clocked up some invaluable testing miles this week and I’m hoping the way the British GT Championship’s Balance of Performance shakes out will enable us to extract more straightline speed from the Audi.”
Qualifying for Round 2 of the 2016 Pirelli British GT Championship at Rockingham Motor Speedway takes place from 15.35 on Saturday (30 April), with the two-hour race at 13.00 the following day (Sunday 1 May).