Ollie Wilkinson has risen rapidly through the international ranks of sportscar racing, climbing from complete novice to become 2019 British GT Silver Cup Champion, a multiple outright GT3 race victor, and a McLaren Professional Driver in three short years.
Backed by Y.CO – The Yacht Company for 2020, Wilkinson will run dual campaigns in the Optimum Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3. He’ll mount his debut GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup season alongside McLaren Factory Drivers Joe Osbourne and Rob Bell, while also defending his British GT title with new team-mate Lewis Proctor back on home soil.
Ollie’s passion for cars and driving was evident from an early age but it wasn’t until 2016 that a drive in a Radical SR3 at Bushy Park, Barbados, highlighted his raw, untapped potential. A first ‘taster’ race in a Ginetta G40 followed ahead of his debut season in the 2017 Ginetta GT5 Challenge.
Impressing from the first outing at Oulton Park, Ollie dominated qualifying to claim his maiden career pole position by 1.123 seconds. He went on to take two further pole positions, six podiums, five fastest laps and 17 out of 19 top-10 finishes on his way to third in the championship. Ollie signed off a stellar rookie year with a second place Pro-Am finish on GT Open debut at Barcelona, his first-time pairing with sportscar champion, Bradley Ellis, in the Optimum Motorsport Audi R8 LMS.
With the invaluable backing of My Possible Self, the innovative mental health self-help app, Ollie made the step up to European GT3 in the Audi for 2018, contesting the majority of International GT Open rounds alongside Ellis.
Although gearbox failure denied a certain first round win at Estoril, the series debutant notched up his first Pro-Am victory come round two at Spa-Francorchamps. Further class glory came on home ground at Silverstone, while a guest appearance in the GT Cup and hat-trick of dominant victories at Brands Hatch underlined his strong potential.
Ollie’s rapid career progression continued in 2019 with an ambitious dual campaign in the Optimum-run Aston Martin Vantage GT3. Tackling the British GT Championship for the first time alongside former series champion Ellis, the duo laid the foundations to lift the Silver Cup crown from the outset with double class victory at Oulton Park. Further wins at Snetterton, the Silverstone 500 and at Spa, plus a trio of second places assured them of the spoils with a round to spare.
As well as achieving their season goal, the duo put pressure on the outright title fight from the outset – third overall at Oulton Park marking the first Silver pairing to feature on the outright podium since 2017. Most notable would be their dominance of the series’ European outing at Spa in July, with pole-to-flag outright victory.
Wilkinson kicked off his GT Open campaign with equal success with second in Pro-Am at Paul Ricard alongside Ellis. Promotion to a Silver-grade driver and Pro-class pairing with Darren Turner followed, which Wilkinson duly reinforced with a maiden outright third-place podium the same weekend at Hockenheim.
Outright victory in the series’ 200th anniversary race in Austria with Jonny Adam immediately followed, while a further hard-fought third at Monza, alongside Turner, secured Ollie’s top-six standing despite skipping Spa and switching to the top-level category.
An outstanding year was capped by earning BRDC Rising Star status, and ultimately led to Ollie’s selection to become a McLaren Professional Driver for 2020.
Despite the disappointment of an early end to his debut Total 24 Hours of Spa appearance, Ollie Wilkinson can still count his first outing at the world’s greatest GT3 race with McLaren as a significant career milestone. Just three years after starting his racing...
McLaren Professional Driver, Ollie Wilkinson will make his Total 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps debut on 22-25 October, where he, Rob Bell and Joe Osborne will give the McLaren 720S GT3 its maiden outing in the 72nd running of the twice around the clock endurance race....
Ollie Wilkinson and Optimum Motorsport team-mate Lewis Proctor made a welcome return to the Intelligent Money British GT Championship podium, taking their McLaren 720S GT3 to third overall – and in class – during the first of two 60-minute showdowns at Snetterton. The...