Ollie Wilkinson has got his 2021 season off to a positive start with confirmation that the 24 year-old has been elected as a Full Member of the prestigious British Racing Drivers’ Club.
The 2019 British GT Silver Cup Champion and multiple outright GT3 race victor across Europe graduates to Full Member status following his selection as a BRDC Rising Star in late 2019.
The Yorkshireman, who only started racing in 2017 and has already starred as an Aston Martin Racing Academy driver and a McLaren Professional Driver, managed to meet the Club’s full membership criteria within 12 months, despite a condensed 2020 season of competition due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Wilkinson’s rapid rise through the GT3 ranks has taken him from Pro-Am podiums in 2018 in the Audi R8 LMS, onto outright British GT victory at Spa-Francorchamps and International GT Open glory at the Red Bull Ring amid numerous podiums as a Pro driver. Continuing with Optimum Motorsport under the auspices of McLaren Customer Racing for 2020, Ollie added further overall and Silver Cup British GT podiums to his roster, whilst a shortened GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup programme netted impressive top-ten results amid 50-car fields.
Acceptance as a Full Member of the BRDC – one of the most exclusive clubs in global motor racing, comparable to gaining a national cap in rugby, cricket or football – is a long-term aspiration for many British and Commonwealth drivers, yet one which Ollie has achieved in an incredibly short space of time.
With the Club’s entry requirements continually evolving over the years, achieving BRDC Full Membership marks the reaching of a standard that has also been met by some legendary forefathers of the sport, including Sir Jackie Stewart, Sir Jack Brabham AO, OBE, Sir Stirling Moss OBE and seven-time Formula One World Champion, Sir Lewis Hamilton MBE, as well as sportscar greats Derek Bell MBE, David Brabham, Derek Warwick, Martin Brundle, Darren Turner, and Ollie’s 2020 team-mates Rob Bell and Joe Osborne.
“It’s an absolute honour to now have full BRDC membership status,” said Ollie. “Membership to arguably the most prestigious racing drivers’ club in the world has to be earned on merit, so it is fantastic to be recognised by the BRDC for my achievements. When I started racing three years ago, I didn’t think Club membership would be something I could achieve in my career, so to have done that in such a short space of time is incredibly rewarding. I would like to thank everyone who has helped to make this possible and I look forward to proudly representing the Club across the world.”
Luke Evans, BRDC Club Operations Executive commented: “Achieving Full Membership of the BRDC is a lifelong ambition for some, so for Ollie to have reached this milestone at the age of 24 is a phenomenal effort. I think what is most astonishing in Ollie’s case is the accelerated nature of his career development, and the level of success that he has been able to attain over the last three years. Very few would have been able to step into a GT3 car and get to grips with things so quickly. Ollie has a long career in racing ahead of him and I am looking forward to seeing what he will go on to achieve in the future, no doubt proudly displaying the Club’s badge like so many greats have done before him.”
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