Barwell Motorsport today announced that it will be entering the Blancpain Endurance Cup for the fourth year in a row.
The British squad will field a brace of 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 Spa 24 Hours, the Surrey-based team will be going all out to claim its first Blancpain championship crown this year.
One of the fastest Am drivers in the series, Leo Machitski, who has scored podium finishes during his previous two Blancpain campaigns with the team returns to pilot the #78 car and is joined by another Barwell ‘old boy’, Richard Abra.
“I love driving the Huracan and it’s great to be back with a strong driver line-up this year.” said Leo Machitski. “I can’t wait to get started!”
The duo will be joined by Portuguese star, Miguel Ramos, who has been a race winner at world GT1 championship level in the past and made his debut with Barwell in last December’s Gulf 12 Hours event.
Barwell’s ‘in-house Pro’, Phil Keen joins the #78 as the fourth driver at the Spa 24 Hours. No stranger to this race, Keen led the team’s charge towards third in Pro-Am in 2016.
Speaking about his Spa seat Keen said: “We have a great line up for the race and I am confident Lamborghini and the team will give us the car to challenge for Pro-Am honours!”
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, Swiss Adrian Amstutz and Finn Patrick Kujala, won the Pro-Am class title together last season.
Both drivers already have experience in the GT3 machine, Kujala having his first taste of the Huracan GT3 during the 2016 ADAC GT Masters championship and Amstutz contested selected Creventic 24 Hour series races in the GT3 car.
“I am thrilled to have the possibility to drive together with Barwell this year in Blancpain.” Amstutz said. “I am very much looking forward to this new challenge.”
Echoing the young Swiss’ sentiments, Kujala added: “This season will be my first year in Blancpain, a very tight championship with many good drivers and teams.
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 Nurburgring. The fourth driver for the Spa24 will be the subject of a further announcement.
The squad will be starting an extensive pre-season testing programme at Monza at the beginning of March, which will also take in the official Paul Ricard two-day test, and outings at Barcelona and Silverstone, prior to the first round at Monza on April 22-23.
In entering another season of the Blancpain the squad is competing in the most competitive Pro-Am series in the world however Team Principal Mark Lemmer remains un-phased: “We have a fantastic blend of speed and experience across our two cars, which I’m very happy with.