Reigning British GT4 champions Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson will return to the British GT Championship in 2017 to defend their drivers’ with Optimum Motorsport and Ginetta.
The pair finished second overall at the end of their first campaign in 2015 before going one better this year by sealing the class and Pro/Am titles at Donington Park’s season finale. Their points total was also enough for Optimum to finish third in the teams’ standings, and only five points behind winners RCIB Insurance Racing, despite running just one car.
Robinson acknowledged that retaining the drivers’ title would be a tough ask in such a competitive class but that it was also his and Johnson’s only aim.
“This year Graham and I have had an amazing season and 2016 will be hard to beat,” he said. “The competition in GT4 is going from strength to strength and not only are there some incredibly talented drivers to compete against but there are new manufacturers joining the grid with some very fast cars.
“We’re coming back in 2017 with the intention of starting the first race in the same way we have done in the past two seasons. After two years in the Ginetta we know the car inside out and so does the team. Everyone working with us at Optimum Motorsport knows exactly how to win championships in the GT4 category and Graham and I will be working hard on and off the track during the winter to help each other lift our performance even further in 2017.”
Johnson echoed his co-driver’s sentiments, reserving particular praise for an Optimum squad that last won the GT4 drivers’ crown in 2013.
“We’re in the best place to defend our title,” he said. “The whole team operated on a different level this year and we’re only going to build on that relationship and knowledge in 2017.
“The target is more race wins, more podiums, and yes, we want to win the British GT4 Championship again. We know that with new cars and new drivers it won’t be easy, but we’re going into the 2017 season as the most experienced GT4 team on the grid and the most successful driver pairing. We can’t wait to repeat our 2016 success!”
Optimum boss Shaun Goff confirmed the team had received several enquiries about fielding an additional GT4 entry, while the team also intends to return to the British GT3 ranks with the Audi R8 that contested six of this year’s nine races.
The 2017 British GT Championship kicks off at Oulton Park on April 15 & 17.