Andrew Howard said it was the perfect time for Beechdean AMR to return to the British GT Championship in 2018, after two seasons in the European Le Mans Series which included the GTE Drivers’ title in 2016.
The team owner will partner Darren Turner in the #99 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 this season, with the field expected to be closer than ever, particularly with the number of works drivers racing in the category in 2018, including Turner.
Howard is already a double British GT champion, says any championship triumph in the category must be earned, and should a title come their way, they know they would have earned it.
“We had a great time in Europe but it was time to come home,” said Howard. “British GT offers bigger grids in our class and judging by the entry list this is going to be a fantastic season of racing.
“Our sponsors prefer the UK market, it reaches our core market in the UK and for me personally, as a company director, British GT allows me more time to do my day job.
“British GT is a national championship but it has an international feel. It’s incredibly competitive so if you win here you have earned it! It’s a well-run and forward-looking championship.”
Co-driver Turner, a three-time winner of the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans, is returning to full-time British GT action for the first time in a decade, while the last time he raced at Oulton Park was four years ago, although he was victorious back then.
“Getting back onto circuits like Oulton Park and Brands Hatch is going to be a fun experience,” said Turner. “Oulton is a very old school circuit: it’s narrow with a grass run off then it’s the barrier and that is something that can really focus a driver’s mind.
“It’ll be interesting to race against, not just the rest of the stiff competition, but most of my WEC team mates! I don’t think any of us were expecting to get this opportunity and it’s going to make for a great championship battle.
“After two years of working with Andrew in the European Le Mans Series I believe we have a good package and the opportunity to have a strong season ahead of us.”