McLaren Professional Driver Ollie Wilkinson returns to the happy hunting ground of Brands Hatch for the next instalment of the Intelligent Money British GT Championship this weekend (August 29/30), and is aiming for more success at the world-famous Kent track.
Brands Hatch was the scene of Wilkinson’s coronation as last year’s British GT Silver Cup champion, when he and then team-mate Bradley Ellis finally wrapped up the title with a second in class finish in their Optimum Motorsport Aston Martin.
While he remains with Optimum again this year, things have changed elsewhere, with Wilkinson now paired with Lewis Proctor in the hot seat of the Y.CO – The Yacht Company-backed McLaren 720S GT3.
The season has started brightly for the pair, with an outright second place finish during the season opener at Oulton Park earlier in August, and two further top-five overall finishes from the three races since. The results mean that Wilkinson and Proctor head into the fifth race of the campaign sitting sixth in the overall GT3 standings, and fourth in the Silver Cup order.
However, with Brands Hatch playing host to a single two-hour blast worth 1.5x the usual championship points, there’s all still left to play for and a good result this weekend could easily catapult Wilkinson and Proctor up the championship order.
“I’m really looking forward to getting out on track at Brands Hatch, it’s a great circuit and holds some really good memories for me after the celebrations we got to have after the race there last season,” says Wilkinson.
“The Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit is an amazing, old-school kind of circuit. Everybody knows the shorter Indy track inside-out, as it’s one of the most-used venues in the country, but the Grand Prix loop is a different story: it’s all about bravery and commitment with the car at some really high speeds. There are long straights, blind corners, elevation changes… the lot. It’s a fantastic challenge and the McLaren should go well there.
“Fourth place overall last time out at Donington Park has put us in a good place, as we avoided carrying any of the pit-stop success penalties into Brands, so we’re clear to run the race our own way and go out there and give it our all.”
Qualifying for the Intelligent Money British GT Championship gets underway at 16:00hrs on Saturday, with the two-hour race taking place at 13:00hrs on Sunday, with live coverage via British GT’s website and social media channels.
Photo credit: Gary Parravani