McLaren Professional Driver, Ollie Wilkinson will begin his Silver Cup title defence and outright attack on the Intelligent Money British GT Championship, when the 2020 series gets underway at Oulton Park this weekend.
Wilkinson returns for a second term in the flagship series at the Cheshire track on 1st-2nd August with new machinery, the Y.CO – The Yacht Company sponsored McLaren 720S GT3, partnered with new Optimum Motorsport team-mate and GT3 graduate Lewis Proctor.
For 24-year-old Wilkinson, it will be a welcome return to one of his favourite and most successful circuits of last year’s debut British GT season. It’s where the Yorkshireman, teamed with Bradley Ellis, became the first silver-silver pairing to score an outright podium since 2017, with third overall.
Wilkinson also walked away from that 2019 season-opener with double Silver Cup class victories, setting a precedent for three more – and an outright victory at Spa-Francorchamps – to claim the Silver crown with a round to spare.
Since then, Wilkinson has become a McLaren Professional Driver and BRDC Rising Star, reflecting his efforts on the UK and European GT3 stage in the three short years since he started racing.
A fresh new challenge accompanies Wilkinson’s title defence, with a new car and a new team-mate, as he remains with the Optimum Motorsport outfit he’s raced with since the start of his short career. Although the duo are yet to experience the awesome 720S GT3 around the undulating 2.69-mile circuit, Wilkinson believes they’ve got the best car and team for the job.
“It’s amazing to think that by this time last year, Brad and I had won outright at Spa and had five Silver Cup wins under our belt. The opening round at Oulton Park was a great start and a big confidence boost for me, being completely new to British GT. I learnt so much racing in the series last year and it makes a big difference heading into a second year with that experience already under my belt,” says Wilkinson.
“We’ve got a lot to live up to from last year, but as we haven’t yet had the chance to test at Oulton our first focus will be on settling in as a new driver pairing with Lewis, and our 720S GT3. We know we have a fantastic car and team behind us, and Lewis is already doing a great job in the brief testing we’ve done so far. I’m really looking forward to our first season together.”
Wilkinson will head to Oulton Park with the invaluable experience of the car’s GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup debut at Imola already in hand.
The first of six British GT Championship rounds for 2020, the Oulton Park action begins with qualifying at 16:10 on Saturday 1st August, ahead of two one-hour races at 13:15 and 16:45 on Sunday. Follow the action live via www.britishgt.com/live or the British GT Facebook page.
Photo credit: Gary Parravani