All new look as Foster and Berry join Optimum for British GT McLaren programme
Having claimed the outright GT3 honours in 2018 and the Silver Cup last season, Optimum Motorsport return to the Intelligent Money British GT Championship with a new look for the coming season, fielding a McLaren 720S GT3 with Nick Foster and Martin Berry.
The Wakefield-based team has a long history in the British series, claiming multiple championships in both GT3 and GT4 classes. The latest member of the McLaren Customer Racing programme - working in conjunction with BAM Motorsport Promotions - welcome the all-new Australian line-up of Nick and Martin in the #68 Pro-Am entry.
Nick currently races in the Asian Le Mans Series and the Intercontinental GT Challenge. His most recent outings in the former saw him claim back-to-back podiums from two starts. Whilst a relative newcomer to LMP competition, he is very familiar with GT racing as he prepares for his third Bathurst 12H start later this month with the aim of securing his second ICGTC win following his Laguna Seca success last year.
Prior to that, Nick took championship honours in the Porsche Carrera Cup in Australia and finished second in the 2018 Blancpain GT Series Asia Series.
Martin has less experience but has already shown impressive form during his three seasons of GT competition. He began with the Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific in 2017, notching up an incredible ten wins from 13 starts. Further podium positions followed in 2018, while last year he ran a varied programme encompassing the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup where he secured his first podium at Paul Ricard.
The McLaren 720S GT3 proved to be a championship contender in 2019, winning the final race of the season at Donington Park and finishing just five points adrift of the eventual title winner. This provides Optimum Motorsport with plenty of encouragement as the season gets underway at Oulton Park 11-13 April.
Shaun Goff, Optimum Motorsport Team Principal
“It's very much an Aussie feel to the team in the championship this year with Nick and Martin joining us. It’s great to have put together this programme with McLaren Customer Racing and BAM Motorsport Promotions to compete with the 720S GT3.
“There will be a learning curve for us as a team with the new GT3 on the British circuits and for the drivers too as they race in the UK for the first time. We have proven we can win at this level many times and we know the car is a race winner, so we’re really looking forward to getting the test programme underway and then starting the season at Oulton Park.”
“I’m very excited to be joining Optimum Motorsport and to be racing the McLaren 720S in the British GT Championship with my good mate Martin Berry. It’s a very strong championship, so I’m expecting an exciting year ahead. Optimum has a great track record in this championship, and I’ve worked with the guys once already in testing, so I know it will be good. McLaren has great pedigree on a global stage, so there is a lot to look forward to.
“Martin had a steep learning curve last year in GT3, but we’ve done a couple of events now together and he has made tremendous progress. There’s a lot for us both to learn in a new team and a new championship. There’s the ‘old school’ tracks – something I’m very used to in Australia – with limited run-off, big kerbs and plenty of undulation. I’m looking forward to cracking on!”
“I am hugely excited to be competing in British GT for the first time, a championship with such a deep history and across some incredibly iconic tracks. I am fortunate to be partnering up with the very talented and fellow Aussie Nick Foster, together with the support of the fantastic team at Optimum Motorsport as we take on the championship in the very capable McLaren 720S GT3.”