Reigning Intelligent Money British GT3 Silver Cup champion and current McLaren Professional Driver Ollie Wilkinson (below) will return to defend his title in 2020 with Optimum Motorsport and GT4 graduate Lewis Proctor.
The 24-year-old secured last year’s crown with Bradley Ellis and Optimum after also becoming the first Silver Cup crew to win a British GT race outright, a result that helped them to remain in overall title contention until the final round.
Wilkinson’s new British GT programme is in addition to the GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Endurance Cup entry announced earlier this year where he will share the McLaren with factory GT drivers Rob Bell and Joe Osborne.
“I count myself lucky to be racing this season, so to come back to British GT and defend the Silver Cup title in our McLaren 720S GT3 is more than I could have hoped for,” he said. “Taking the title last year was brilliant and it will be good to come back with that experience under my belt, a new car, new sponsor and new team-mate. Lewis has already proved himself to be a pace-setter in GT4 and I have no doubt he will take the step up to GT3 in his stride this year.”
In a season where commercial realities are hitting hard, it is good to report that Wilkinson will also be sporting new backing from
superyacht company, Superyacht operations giant Y.CO.who support over 100 large yacht operations worldwide, specialising in luxury yacht charter, sales, purchase, management, new construction and refit.
“To have the backing of new sponsor Y.CO is amazing. I whole-heartedly thank them for their support and look forward to the honour of sporting their brand throughout my British GT and GT World Challenge Europe campaigns.
“The aim in British GT has to be to defend the title and McLaren has given us a car that’s more than capable of helping us to do that. It’s also good to be back with Optimum, who I’ve raced with since the start of my short career. I have every faith that we will only get stronger and stronger as a team with the new car.”
Domestically, Wilkinson is joined by McLaren Academy Driver Proctor who claimed one victory and two further podiums en route to fourth in last year’s GT4 standings with Tolman Motorsport. The 23-year-old returns to Optimum following a one-off appearance in the Dubai 24 Hours.
“I am very excited about stepping up, it will be my first time in the GT3!” added Proctor. “I have known the team for a long time, we go way back and obviously the British GT paddock is a small place. Shaun has a good team and the boys and girls at Optimum are very professional, so I’m looking forward to going racing in August.”
The duo joins GT3’s expanded Silver Cup entry which now totals six cars, the most in British GT’s recent history.
At present that sees the British GT Championship GT3 entry featuring six McLaren 720S GT3 (subject to some ongoing concerns ref. COVID-19 travel restrictions) in the now 19 car GT3 entry with two car efforts from the debuting 2 Seas Motorsports and Optimum and single car efforts from the returning Balfe Motorsport and, as confirmed yesterday Jenson Team Rocket RJN.
Thus far the only GT3 withdrawals are the pair of TF Sport Aston Martins.
There is further bad news in GT4 however with Optimum confirming the withdrawal of its two GT4 entries, which are now unable to compete due to British GT’s rescheduled calendar. That news follows on from the confirmation that Balfe Motorsport has also withdrawn a GT4 McLaren from the season entry with other withdrawals very distinctly possible.