Barwell Motorsport confirms two-car squad for Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup assault
Barwell Motorsport will be returning to the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup this season, for the fourth year in a row. In 2017 the British squad will be fielding two Lamborghini Huracan GT3s, which will both be gunning for the Pro-Am class championship title. Having finished third in 2014 (with the Ecurie Ecosse-entered BMW Z4) and sixth last season in this ultra-competitive arena, and taken a hat-trick of podium finishes at the Total 24 Hours of Spa, the Surrey-based team will be going all out to claim its first Blancpain GT Series crown this year.
Returning to the Barwell fold will be one of the fastest Am drivers in the series, Leo Machitski, who has scored podium finishes during his previous two Blancpain GT Series campaigns with the team. Joining Leo will be another Barwell ‘old boy’, Richard Abra, who has also claimed Blancpain GT Series podiums and finished 4th in the point’s standings in 2014. This duo will have a hugely experienced teammate alongside them, in the form of Portuguese star Miguel Ramos, who has been a race winner at world GT1 championship level in the past. Miguel made his debut with Barwell in last December’s Gulf 12 Hours event, and completes a line-up, which is rich in both pace and experience in the #78 car. Reinforcing this theme, this car’s fourth driver at the Total 24 Hours of Spa will be Barwell’s ‘in-house Pro’, Phil Keen, who impressed hugely at this event last year as he led the team’s charge towards third in Pro-Am.
Lining up in the #77 car will be three very talented and successful graduates from the Lamborghini Super Trofeo one-make series. Two of which, Adrian Amstutz and Patrick Kujala, won the Pro-Am class title together last season, Kujala’s second crown in a row after claiming the overall Super Trofeo Pro class in 2015. Both have previous Lamborghini GT3 experience, having contested various races with the car. Joining these two will be Croatian youngster Martin Kodric, who impressed greatly in his 2016 Super Trofeo Pro class campaign, taking fourth in the points standings and a victory at the Nürburgring. Who will join this line-up for Spa is yet to be established.
The squad will be starting an extensive pre-season testing programme at the beginning of March, which will also take in the official Paul Ricard two-day test, prior to the first round at Monza on April 22-23.
Mark Lemmer Barwell Motorsport Team Principal): “We have a fantastic blend of speed and experience across our two cars, which I’m very happy with. The team is competing in the most competitive Pro-Am series in the world, but we have all of the ingredients in place to mount a strong challenge!”
Patrick Kujala (#77 Lamborghini Huracan): “This season will be my first year in the Blancpain GT Series, a very tight championship with many good drivers and teams. Together with Barwell we will try to get the best result out of the race weekends. It’s a very exciting year coming up and I am grateful for this opportunity.”Richard Abra (#7 Lamborghini Huracan): “Very happy and excited to be back with Barwell Motorsport in the Blancpain GT Series once again in this exciting new era of GT3 Pro-Am racing. Barwell has established itself as one of the top Lamborghini race teams so I know we will have a good car, leaving the rest down to us!“