Triple play! Optimum Motorsport to run three McLaren 720S GT3s in the Silverstone 500
The final round of the Intelligent Money British GT Championship takes place this coming weekend (7-8 November 2020) at Silverstone, the home of British Motorsport. For Optimum Motorsport, the three-hour enduro event caps off the season nicely with the opportunity to add an additional two McLaren 720S GT3s to the entry list.
The Silver-Silver pairing of Ollie Wilkinson and Lewis Proctor team up for the final time this season in the #96 McLaren. While they have been unable to defend Ollie Wilkinson’s title from 2019, there has been plenty of positives from the season as a whole. The pairing naturally aims to see out the season on a high and to add the two-overall and three class podiums secured already this year.
Ollie Millroy and Brendan Iribe are regulars with Optimum Motorsport, competing this year in GT Open with considerable success. The former has brought Brendan up to GT3 racing a season earlier than planned and have secured an impressive seven Pro-Am podium positions.
Alex Mortimer and Mark Crader join the team in the #68 entry in what is a departure from their regular race programme with Nielsen Racing in the Michelin Le Mans Cup. Alex is no stranger to the championship having won the title in 2007 with former Optimum Motorsport regular Bradley Ellis.
More recently he took the Radical European Masters – Supersport title in 2018 and has been a regular in Le Mans Cup with Mark. This year, travel restrictions have resulted in a truncated programme, but the Pro-Am pairing are looking forward to the challenge this weekend brings.
The Silverstone 500 starts with practice and qualifying on Saturday with the race itself Sunday from 12:50 GMT.
Shaun Goff, Optimum Motorsport Team Principal
“While it has been a busy GT3 schedule for us already this year, we’re very happy to be expanding our programme in British GT for this final round. Ollie and Brendan were keen to run in this event as it’s a three-hour race and it’s at Silverstone, a circuit that they both know so well.
“For Alex and Mark, travel restrictions and subsequent quarantine rules has limited their LMP3 programme this year, so they are keen to race on UK soil and in such a competitive series. As ever, the Optimum Motorsport team will be flat out to provide them with competitive machinery for this, our last UK race of the season!”
Alex Mortimer, #68 McLaren 720S GT3
“For me personally, I’m really excited to be going back to the British GT Championship. I have very fond memories from my 2006 – 2011 period there, including winning the championship in 2007! Mark and I are keen to do this event as with the travel issues this year, we have had limited race options this year. Mark remains fully committed to racing LMP3 prototypes going forward, but this is a good opportunity for him to get a taste of GT3 racing and at a circuit that he knows so well.
“We don’t really have any expectations for the race, it will be a steep learning curve with a new car and with a tyre that we don’t know that well. We have managed to test in both wet and the dry at Silverstone, but it’s a case of going in, competing and above all, enjoying the event. We know from our races in Le Mans Cup, we always move forward on race day, so we know it will be tough, but we’re both really looking forward to it.”
Ollie Millroy, #77 McLaren 720S GT3
“There are many great options for us to run in GT3 equipment in a variety of championships. The fact that this final round of the British GT Championship takes place at Silverstone, a track we both know and one of the greatest tracks in Europe – even in November – makes it especially appealing. I love the championship, and I know Brendan has watched every lap of every round this year in his spare time. He’s excellent in wet conditions, so we are both looking forward to it.
“It will be a challenge for me as well as I have only ever made one start in this championship and that was back in 2012. In addition, I have raced for the last eight years almost exclusively on Michelin tyres. I think I have only done one race on the Pirellis in that time, so it will be interesting and we’re both looking forward to our first three-hour endurance together.”
Ollie Wilkinson, #96 McLaren 720S GT3
“It was great to return to the outright British GT podium for the second time this season at Snetterton, it shows the progress we’ve made in our first year with McLaren, and with Lewis and I as a driver pairing.
“Silverstone is among my favourite tracks and we ran well there last year. It would be really satisfying to finish off the season with another podium in the Silverstone 500.”