Optimum Motorsport unveil all-Pro McLaren line-up for GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup
Optimum Motorsport is pleased to confirm that it will compete in the newly renamed GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup (formerly Blancpain GT Series) in 2020 with Ollie Wilkinson returning and starting an exciting new chapter of his career with the team. The McLaren Professional Driver will be joined by McLaren Factory Drivers Joe Osborne and Rob Bell in what is an all-Pro line-up in the 720S GT3.
Ollie started his racing career with Optimum Motorsport in 2017, taking victories in British GT and International GT Open, whilst also claiming Silver Cup honours in the former last year. Having recently been confirmed as part of the McLaren family, he now looks forward to racing with Joe and Rob in the five-round championship.
Having first raced with Optimum Motorsport in 2007, Joe is no stranger to the team either having last competed with the outfit in the 2017 Michelin Le Mans Cup alongside 2018 British GT Champion Flick Haigh. Joe was appointed as a Factory Driver by McLaren in 2018, working on the 720S GT3 development programme, and then racing the new McLaren during 2019 in the China GT Championship, taking two wins and a further four podiums from the six-round championship. He is also a winner of the Dubai 24 Hours, GT4 European Series champion and has nearly a decade of British GT experience.
Rob also brings a wealth of experience having secured multiple titles in his long career, including winning the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup in 2016 and International GT Open in 2017. Alongside Joe, he was instrumental in the development of the 720S GT3 and competed in the British GT Championship last season, taking the first victory in the UK for the car at the season finale at Donington Park.
For Optimum Motorsport, the latest member of the McLaren Customer Racing programme, the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup announcement is the first of several in what promises to be an exciting season ahead. Details of the team’s other programmes will be announced shortly.
Shaun Goff, Optimum Motorsport Team Principal
“I’m delighted to be competing at such a high level in 2020 and excited to join the McLaren Customer Racing family. It has always been our aim to race in the GT World Challenge Europe in 2020, and I’m especially pleased to be working with McLaren and we have three great drivers in the line-up.
“Ollie joined us to race Ginettas in 2017 and after three seasons together, has already won races and titles and we believe he will win many more. We also welcome back Joe to the Endurance Championship. He’s a well-known quantity and always a great addition to any team. It’s also a privilege to have a driver the calibre of Rob Bell in completing such a strong Pro line-up.”
"I’ve been with Optimum since I started racing in 2017 and it feels like home. It’s been great to help build a relationship between them and McLaren and to take my next big step whilst staying with the team. It’s a massive deal for me to be moving up to the top level of GT3 racing, I’m really looking forward to the challenges ahead and to work with Rob and Joe.
“Learning from two such highly-experienced Factory Drivers will only help to push me to another level. I can’t wait to get to grips with the 720S GT3 and help showcase what we believe the car is capable of on the GT World Challenge stage. The level of competition is going to be really high and I’m certainly not underestimating how hard it will be, but at the same time I couldn’t be more excited to be part of such a world-class championship."
"I'm buzzing to get the season underway and to be back working with Optimum Motorsport, now running with the McLaren 720S GT3. I'm really looking forward to teaming up with Ollie and Rob, and we have the tools we need to have a strong year and push for results.
“While Ollie is new to McLaren, he has proved himself to be extremely quick and capable, and I have worked with and raced with Rob for a number of years now so I'm confident we will be up to speed pretty quickly. I am excited to be back racing with Optimum Motorsport as well, building on the relationship I have had with the team for the past 14 years.
"I'm really proud to be working with McLaren and we have put a huge amount of effort and resource into the 720S GT3 programme, so it is great to have the opportunity to show the car in arguably the most challenging GT3 championship in the world. I can't wait to be back in the car and on the grid to get the 2020 season going."
“I’m delighted to be driving the 720S GT3 for Optimum Motorsport alongside Ollie and Joe in the Endurance Series. It’s an extremely competitive championship and I’m especially looking forward to taking on one of the biggest challenges in GT3 racing, which is the 24 Hours of Spa.
“Behind the scenes at McLaren Customer Racing, we’ve been working hard to produce the best-performing car for this event, and this will be an amazing opportunity to show what we can do!”