Top British endurance racing squad, Optimum Motorsport, will make a return to the Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup this weekend at Oulton Park, with Ade Barwick at the wheel of a Ginetta G55.
Following a four-year absence, Optimum Motorsport will return to Ginetta’s flagship single-make championship, and it will mark the first time the 2013 British GT4 Champions have run in SuperCup, since initially appearing in the 2011 season with George Murrells, who took three podiums and a win.
The 2015 season has been one of the most successful in the nine-year history of the Wakefield team, with class wins in the Dubai 24 Hours, Mugello 12 Hours, British GT, GT Cup and Britcar Endurance championships, along with podium appearances in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge to boot.
However, with the exception of the GT5 Challenge, all of these victories have been in races of at least 50-minutes length, so the opportunity to partake in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) supporting SuperCup, is a fresh challenge for Team Principal, Shaun Goff.
Taking on driving duties this weekend is Ade Barwick, who along with Optimum and Ginetta is also based in Yorkshire. Competing in British GT for a second successive season, the former Caterham racer will debut in the AM class of SuperCup this weekend.
His relationship with Optimum dates back a handful of months, when he and regular co-driver Bradley Ellis formed part of the Dubai 24 Hour-winning line-up in a GT4 specification Ginetta G55. Barwick will be reunited with the Dubai and Mugello-winning car, albeit with some significant changes made to the 3.7-litre Yorkshire terrier, to make it eligible for SuperCup competition.
With seat-time in the Ginetta the prime objective for the weekend at Oulton, the pressure is off Barwick, and the 47-year-old intends to fully-enjoy his experience in the series, but can’t deny he’d like to be in a position to challenge for an ‘AM’ class podium by the second race of the weekend at the Cheshire track.
The weekend begins with free practice on Friday 5th June, before Saturday will see Barwick qualifying at 11:35, before competing in his first race of the weekend at 16:35. Sunday’s race is sandwich between the first two BTCC races, and gets underway at 14:10. Coverage of the races will be broadcast on ITV4 on Sunday from 11:15.
Shaun Goff, Team Principal: “Ade came to us and was interested in running in SuperCup, which was something I’d been keen to take a look at again. While the championship is not unfamiliar to us, it has moved on significantly and moved across to the G55 platform, which is obviously a car we’re familiar with, having competed with it for over three years now. It’s hopefully going to be a very enjoyable weekend though and we’ll be aiming to give Ade an opportunity to continue his winning streak with us.”
Ade Barwick, Driver: “I’m doing this because I want to do as much racing as I can this year, and this weekend was free. I love that car; it’s the same one I used in Dubai and Mugello, albeit in SuperCup spec, and I love working with Shaun. I tested on the Island Circuit in a test session, and it went alright. I come from a sprint background in Caterhams, so that won’t take too much adjustment, but I haven’t ever done a standing-start before, so that will be new to me. I think I’d better get some practice in on that!”