Ollie Wilkinson makes a welcome return to Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS action aboard the JOTA McLaren this weekend in Valencia, as he rejoins the Sprint Cup field for the first time since his heavy accident at Brands Hatch last month.
The McLaren Factory Driver and team-mate Ben Barnicoat head to Spain hunting for the race victory they richly deserve to sign-off their maiden season as a Sprint Cup pairing – the victory they were denied on home soil last month.
The JOTA duo had looked set to take their first series win when contact took Wilkinson out of the lead and over the Dingle Dell barriers with less than five minutes of race one remaining. Thanks to the strength of the McLaren 720S GT3 safety cell, Wilkinson walked away from the huge accident but a resulting left-knee injury forced the Yorkshireman to sit out the Endurance Cup Nürburgring round six days later.
Outstanding work form JOTA had ensured the McLaren was rebuilt and ready for action in Germany, and Wilkinson even endured the official practice and pre-qualifying sessions before he was assessed unfit to race by the series doctor.
Aside from the agony of Brands Hatch, Wilkinson and Barnicoat also came tantalisingly close to a top-three finish at both the Magny-Cours and Misano Sprint Cup rounds this year, not to mention the #38 car running as high as second in the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa.
Although only three weeks on from the accident, Wilkinson’s injuries are healing well and the 25-year-old is eager to get back into GT World Challenge Europe action and chase that illusive podium.
The final Sprint Cup round of the season marks the first race for both team and drivers at Valencia. Testing on Friday will offer Ollie and the JOTA squad their first opportunity to get on terms with the 4.00-km circuit before practice and qualifying on Saturday.
The 2021 Sprint Cup will then sign-off with two one-hour races at 10:00 and 14:45 on Sunday, streamed live on the series website, social media and YouTube channels.
The provisional schedule is detailed below. For trackside news and updates follow Ollie’s social media channels.
Sprint Cup, Valencia – Provisional Schedule
All times CEST.