With the 2015 Avon Tyres British GT Championship still ongoing and building to its climatic final round, Optimum Motorsport is pleased to announce that it will field an unchanged line-up in the 2016 series, with both Mike Robinson (GBR) and Graham Johnson (GBR) returning to fight for the 2016 GT4 title in a Professional MotorSport World Expo-liveried Ginetta G55 GT4.
This season has seen the GT4 element of the British GT Championship swell to as many as seventeen cars this season, a far cry from seasons past where GT4 struggled to maintain more than six full-season entries. The reinvigorated class for cars with a greater alignment to production vehicles has boomed as series organisers delivered greater parity over the off-season.
Energetic British duo Robinson and Johnson, who are colleagues at publishing and exhibition company, UKIP Media & Events Ltd and organise the Professional Motorsport World Expo in Koln, have had a standout year in their debut British GT season, claiming one victory, two runners-up finishes and four further top five results.
With the 2015 GT4 title heading for a second year to the Beechdean-AMR squad, there is now added desire for Wakefield-based Optimum to claim back the title it won in 2013. Over the past twelve months, Shaun Goff’s efficient Ginetta-specialist crew has taken GT4 wins in the 24 Hours of Dubai, Mugello 12 Hours, and countless class victories in the BTCC-supporting Ginetta SuperCup, plus the GT Cup and MSA British Endurance Championship.
Shaun Goff: “Graham and Mike have been fantastic this year and as I expected, at the sharp end of the grid. Leading the championship for the opening two weekends was a bit of a surprise, I thought we’d be in the mix at the end, but not quite so soon! It’s been a really enjoyable year, and the professionalism and dedication I’ve seen this year from them has been really very pleasing. The team has been maturing over the past twelve months and I feel like we’ve grown with the drivers this year. We all have big plans for the future and its great to see that continue into 2016.”
Mike Robinson: “Graham and I are delighted to announce that we have signed to race with Optimum Motorsport in British GT again in 2016. With 17 cars on the grid this year the GT4 category has never been more competitive and is clearly going from strength to strength. Coming into the championship this year we knew it would be tough to fight at the front, especially as we were new to the car, new to the team, and new to endurance racing. When we announced our entry into the 2015 championship there was a lot to take in, thankfully Shaun and all the guys at Optimum are very well versed in preparing the car, the drivers, and the crew for endurance racing. Winning on our British GT debut against such strong opposition was absolutely fantastic and testament to how well the team had prepared us for racing at this level. We’re currently third in the championship and thrilled with how well the team have performed all year – when it came to finalising our plans early for 2016 the decision to stay with Optimum was an easy one.”
Graham Johnson: “It's the obvious choice to sign with Optimum for next year as we've been genuine championship contenders in our first year in British GT, despite the fact that we've had so much to learn. To throw away that effort, the lessons learnt, and the relationships we've formed would be foolish. Optimum is a great team - as near as damn it a Ginetta works team in our eyes - plus we believe we are the fastest driver combination on the grid. With luck on our side, car reliability, and without errors, we could’ve won the championship this year - and that means we can definitely mount another strong challenge in 2016. Mike and I are 100% committed to our long-time goal to be multiple British GT champions, and staying with Optimum is the best way to achieve that goal.”
British GT4 Driver’s Championship:
1. Chadwick/Gunn – 164.5 pts*
2. Yusuf/Kershaw – 126 pts
3. Johnson/Robinson – 122 pts
4. Pattison/Davenport – 108.5 pts
British GT4 Team’s Championship:
1. Beechdean-AMR – 164.5 pts
2. Issy Racing – 126 pts
3. Academy Motorsport – 124 pts
4. Optimum Motorsport – 122 pts
5. Tolman Motorsport – 108.5 pts