Ecurie Ecosse gave the GT3 BMW Z4 the most dramatic race debut in British GT possible this time last year when they won the first race of the year on the final lap in dreadful conditions at Oulton Park. A second car is added to the Ecurie Ecosse/Barwell Motorsport garage, while 888 Race Engineering and Optimum Motorsport combine to bring two more Z4s to the 2013 grid
#8 – Lee Mowle/Joe Osborne
#888 – Steve Tandy/Dan Brown
The offspring of the union of multiple BTCC champions Triple Eight and hitherto Ginetta team Optimum Motorsport the new team could easily be considered title contenders, especially with Optimum boss Mowle and Osborne – twice winner with Trackspeed last term – in the #8 car.
Osborne, who has driven with Mowle and Optimum in endurance races, brings with him 2012 co-driver Steve Tandy. The pair join after two wins with Trackspeed last season – Rockingham and Snetterton – Tandy partnered by Dan Brown who returns to the series having last competed with Chad Racing in 2010.
The parts are in place for a championship challenge, so can 888 follow Motorbase in becoming another team to win in both BTCC and British GT. Optimum Motorsport maintain their links to Ginetta with a GT4 entry set for the full season, so championship success for them could be half of a sweep of the 2013 titles.
Ecurie Ecosse/Barwell Motorsport
#79 – Marco Attard/Oliver Bryant
#80 – Ron Johnson/Piers Johnson
In their first season back in British GT – in their first full season return to modern racing – Ecurie Ecosse almost gave Alasdair McCaig the title. Ecurie Ecosse’s 2012 was an object lesson in the requirements to win the title, with the team scoring points in every single race. Arguably only a mistimed lunge by Bryant cost McCaig, who steps aside this season, the title.
Marco Attard, having made fleeting appearances in 2012 in both Lotus and Lamborghini teams, joins for the full season with Bryant retained as the line-up’s Pro driver to complete a similar quality line-up to the one that so nearly won last season.
After a troubled time in the Corvette the unrelated Ron and Piers Johnson join the team in a second car, to be run as Ecurie Ecosse by Barwell Motorsport. Last season, their second in the Corvette, ended with only a single points paying finish, but the slow flow of development to the Callaway built car was a thorn in the Speedworks team’s side against the newer GT3 cars entering the championship. A move into the BMW will prove a barometer of their true ability.