Ollie Wilkinson heads into the second round of his 2019 International GT Open campaign at Hockenheim, Germany, (25-26 May) aiming to build on his opening round second-place Pro-Am podium in the Optimum Motorsport-run, all-new Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT3.
The 22 year-old will continue his first full-season GT Open attack with new co-driver – Aston Martin Racing works driver and triple 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner, Darren Turner. Bradley Ellis will continue to coach Ollie while primarily focusing on their British GT Championship fight.
Wilkinson, who was recently selected to join the Aston Martin Racing Driver Academy, gave the Aston Martin V8 Vantage an impressive GT Open debut at Paul Ricard last month. Leading Pro-Am right up until the final lap of the 60-minute race, the second place finish marked the first series podium for the car and leaves Ollie second in the title fight.
Now the young Yorkshireman is ready to take on the Hockenheim circuit for the first time, as the home of the German Formula One Grand Prix becomes a new fixture to the GT Open calendar for 2019.
Wilkinson has had just one opportunity to test the Aston Martin around the challenging 2.8-mile track in recent weeks. Despite that being somewhat of a wash-out, Ollie and the Optimum crew were able to build some encouraging baseline performance to take forward to the official pre-event test this Friday, 24 May.
“Taking the Aston Martin V8 Vantage’s first GT Open podium at Paul Ricard was a great achievement in the first round of the year,” said Wilkinson. “From that, we will carry a success penalty for race one at Hockenheim, which will make it tricky to score another class podium, so we’ll be focusing on taking as many points as possible. It should be all to play for in race two, so I hope to get another podium or even that first class win of the season.
“This will be my inaugural outing at Hockenheim, but I’m looking forward to it. It’s an amazing opportunity to partner Darren and I will do all I can to learn from the experience and knowledge he has to offer, for the rest of GT Open season.”
The second round of the International GT Open championship opens with qualifying from 11:25 (local) / 10:25 (GMT) on Saturday 25 May, followed by race one at 16:30 (local) / 15:30 (GMT). The action continues on Sunday with qualifying at 09:35 (local) / 08:35 (GMT) ahead of the final race of the weekend at 14:00 (local) / 13:00 (GMT).
Both qualifying and the races will be streamed live each day: https://www.youtube.com/user/GTOPENseries Live timing is available via http://online.cronococa.com For further championship information visit www.gtopen.net