British GTGT SeriesSportscars

Triple Eight Race Engineering Confirm Two BMW Z4s For 2014

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888Optimum Racing's BMW was fastest in the second 60-minute session (Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

Triple Eight Race Engineering will continue its involvement with the British GT Championship in 2014, once again entering a pair of BMW Z4 GT3s.

The team enjoyed a strong debut year, consistently scoring points and making trips to the podium and will retain the services of Joe Osborne and Lee Mowle for 2014, who will be joined by Derek Johnston and Luke Hines in the second Z4.

“Last year was our first foray into GT racing, and our performance and understanding of this kind of racing built as the season unfolded,” said 888 Race Engineering Managing Director, Ian Harrison. “With the driver crews we have for 2014, the ingredients are there to keep that momentum going. We want wins and the Championship. Nothing less.”

Johnston and Hines shared a cockpit in the closing stages of the 2013 season after Johnston’s Mtech team swapped from a Ferrari to a Ginetta. Hines was suggested as Johnston’s new team-mate by Ginetta after Jake Rattenbury left the team following the switch of car. The duo showed pace from the beginning, challenging the sharp end of the grid at the Donington Park finale.

“I am delighted to be racing in the 888 BMW Z4 in BGT next season,” said Johnston. “The team have established themselves in their first season and I am looking forward to building on that”.

“I’m really pleased that I will be working with 888 again,” added Hines, who was a race winner in the BTCC with 888. “They were responsible for starting my career back in the works Vauxhall touring car days and I know what a professional outfit they are. I’m confident that with Derek Johnston as my team mate and a team as strong as 888, we can deliver some really competitive results. I would really like to thank Derek and 888 for this opportunity.”

Osborne and Mowle developed as a driver pairing throughout the season, picking up the pace in the second half of the year to score four consecutive points finishes, only failing to score in the final round after an irregular pitstop issue and retiring after a clutch-related failure.

888’s entry marks the fifth confirmed entrants in the GT3 category to go with the three confirmed GT4 entries for 2014. More names are expected to be announced in the run up to January’s Autosport International show.

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Based in Mid-Wales, James joined TCF at the start of the 2013 season, covering a range of disciplines, predominantly Motorcycle Road Racing and NASCAR. Follow him on Twitter @JCCharman
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