Ollie Wilkinson signed off his second season of racing on a high in Abu Dhabi last weekend, as the 22 year-old joined Aston Martin Racing for the new Vantage GT4’s race debut in the Gulf 12 Hours.
Tackling the event and Yas Marina circuit for the first time in his so-far short racing career, Wilkinson joined a four-strong works team alongside Mark Farmer, Tom Canning and Adrian Willmott. The quartet starred in qualifying to take the GT4 class pole, with Wilkinson setting the second fastest time of his session.
Hopes of converting their pole-winning form in the 12-hour race, however, were dashed when the car was hit by a rival on the opening lap, necessitating lengthy repairs. Accident damage aside, Ollie and his Aston Martin Racing teammates clawed back to record a commendable fourth place finish on the car’s inaugural outing.
“What better way to sign off the 2018 season then making my Gulf 12 Hours debut with Aston Martin Racing, in the new Vantage GT4? It was an amazing opportunity I couldn’t pass up”, said Ollie.
“This was my first time racing at Yas Marinas, I loved the circuit on the sim and driving it for real in the Vantage GT4 was incredible. Taking the class pole at the car’s first attempt was a mega way to start the weekend and hopes were high for the race. It’s a huge shame the first lap incident put us out of the front running from the start, but everyone did a superb job to claw back to P4 and record the car’s first finish.”
Ollie adds his Gulf 12 Hours GT4 class pole position to a stellar roster of top results this term, including a brace of International GT Open Pro-Am class wins and podium finishes, plus a hat-trick of GT Cup pole-to-flag victories. Plans are already in place with teammate Bradley Ellis to mount a full GT Open campaign alongside select international events next year.
Photo credit: FotoSpeedy