Part three of our introduction to the Blancpain Endurance Brits, who are all in action this weekend at Silverstone. This follows the first part, which was published yesterday and can be found here, and the second part – which is here.
#62 R-Motorsport Aston Martin V12 Vantage (G)
Marvin Kirchhofer, Maxime Martin
Son of Martin, it has been great to see Norfolk-born Alex plough his own furrow over the years in sportscar racing. An LMP2 podium in the Le Mans 24 Hour last season is surely the highlight of a varied career to-date, which has also seen an ELMS LMP3 title. His R-Motorsport campaign this season represents his first effort in Blancpain racing, which yielded a debut ninth place – and championship points – at Monza in the opening round.
#76 R-Motorsport Aston Martin V12 Vantage (G)
Matthieu Vaxiviere, Nicki Thiim
What a crazy week for Dennis. At the start of it he was testing a Red Bull Formula 1 car in the Barcelona test, perhaps reawakening those single-seater yearnings which had all-but disappeared following an impressive beginning to his GT3 career last season for Team WRT. A pole and a second in the final Endurance round at Barcelona last season suggested that Dennis had found his feet in the category, so big things can be expected from the R-Motorsport team once they are on top of their new entry.
#77 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 (B – AM Cup)
Adrian Amstutz, Leo Matchiski
The super-experienced British GT runner makes a return with Barwell to the Blancpain Series, challenging for Am Cup honours. An eighth place finish in the 2015 Spa 24 is by far his best result on the continent, but Minshaw is a man who has won races in the last three British GT seasons.
#78 Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 (S – Silver Cup)
Michele Beretta, Martin Kodric
18 year old Mitchell turned his back on single-seaters after a promising single season of MSA Formula in 2015. The Scotsman is no slouch behind the wheel of a GT car though and has moved beyond the domestic GT4 scene to create a buzz on the continent. This has seen him become a BRDC Young Star. One to watch.
#88 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 (G)
Tristan Vautier, Raffaele Marciello
One of the stalwarts of the GT racing scene, Christodoulou has competed all over the world with Mercedes in recent years, always showing good pace. He comes in as a sub for DTM-bound Dani Juncadella this weekend, a week after a second place finish at the Nurburgring 24 – a race he felt he should have won. He does have good experience in the BES, starting the Paul Ricard round last season on pole for the Black Falcon team. A podium is long-overdue for the Birmingham-born racer.
#90 AKKA ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 (S – Silver Cup)
Jules Szymkowiak, Nico Bastian
19-year-old Manchester is really finding his feet in GT racing, following a career start in Radicals and Audi TTs. He is fortunate that he is partnering someone as quick and as supportive as Nico Bastian, but the Guildford-born driver is no slouch and has looked quick in practice this weekend.
#97 Oman Racing with TF Sport Aston Martin V12 Vantage (S – Silver Cup)
Ahmad Al Harthy, Charlie Eastwood
Another of the growing band of young chargers making their way up into the Blancpain Endurance Series, McKay looked good in Supercar Challenge last season. He joined TF Sport having finished 8th for their sister Oman Racing Team at the Gulf 12 Hours last season. McKay is also a BRDC Rising Star.
#98 ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3 (S)
Nick Yelloly, John Edwards
A BMW Junior, Collard is starting to showing his speed in GT cars, having turned his back on single-seaters after a promising BRDC Formula 3 campaign in 2016. He was a race winner in the ADAC GT Series last season with Team Schnitzer and is combining a Blancpain campaign with some drives for Century Motorsport in the British GT Championship. Another BRDC Rising Star and certainly another one to watch.
#99 ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3 (G)
Ricky Collard, John Edwards
When you look to call on a super-sub, it is always useful to be able to call upon someone with as much quality as Yelloly. The Force India simulator driver makes his Blancpain bow with ROWE Racing, making a pleasant change from the usual Porsches he drives so well. Already it has been noted that Yelloly is on the pace of the more regular BMW drivers, suggesting that this may be the first of many appearances in GT racing for the Birmingham-born racer.
#188 Garage 59 McLaren 650 S GT3 (AM Cup)
Alexander West, Chris Goodwin
Harris has been a semi-regular in the Nurburgring 24h over the years and has dabbled in most series where a car has a roof. In recent seasons he has participated in the Am Cup category of the Blancpain Endurance Series and is certainly no slouch. 2018 represents his second year in a Garage 59 McLaren. And he presents Top Gear.
#188 Garage 59 McLaren 650 S GT3 (AM Cup)
Chris Harris, Alexander West
Uber-experienced, this writer first saw Goodwin in action in the 1988 Formula Ford Festival! Not only a GT stalwart, Goodwin is also a McLaren regular, but has popped up all over the world racing with varied success. His best results of recent times have been in British GTs, but he represents the quickest third of an Am Cup favourite trio.