Motorbase Performance has bolstered its Avon Tyres British GT Championship squad for 2015, signing up 23 year old Daniel Lloyd to partner 2014 British GT runner up Ahmad Al Harthy in the #2 Aston Martin V12 Vantage for its assault on the Championship Title.
The silver rated driver pairing will be joined on track by the returning duo of Rory Butcher and Liam Griffin in the Kent-based squad’s second Vantage, with the silver and bronze drivers contesting all seven of the British GT rounds this season.
“It’s great that Ahmad is back with us again this year, along with Liam Griffin in the other car. I think they’re going to enjoy their season and to have two class drivers like Daniel Lloyd and Rory Butcher in the team is great;” said Motorbase Team Principal David Bartrum.
“I think we’ve got two very strong pairings for British GT’s and I can’t wait to get started. We’ve got to try and go one better this year. We finished runner up last year in the driver’s Championship and won the Team Championship which was fantastic for the team, but you really want to win the drivers’ title as well so we’ll have to work even harder this year and try to achieve our goals.”
Having narrowly missed out on the overall title last season, securing the Teams’ Championship in the process, Bartrum is upbeat about his rejuvenated squad and is looking to expand its efforts further in 2015 with the addition of a third Aston Martin GT3.
“We’ve still got a third Vantage ready and waiting at the workshop and our intention is to expand the GT squad even further this year;” Bartrum added. “We’re actively seeking new drivers to complement our existing line up and have a great package available for the start of the 2015 season.”
Al Harthy returns to the Motorbase squad for his third consecutive season competing in the British GT Championship following a highly successful 2014 campaign that saw the 33 year old claim the runners up title; securing two race wins, two podiums and a further five top ten finishes along the way.
After a bit-part GT season in 2014, Lloyd is relishing the opportunity of a full campaign with a strong chance at the shot of a title and the MSA Team UK driver is confident that his new partnership with Al Harthy in the #2 race winning Motorbase Vantage will see the duo challenging at the front of the pack.
“Last year was not the best year for us; we were in and out of different championships so to be back in our first full season in the British GT Championship is really exciting;” said Lloyd.
“I raced against Ahmad back in 2012 and we got on well, he’s a really nice guy. I knew how much he worked back then and I know he puts in a lot of hard work away from the track. Ahmad [Al Harthy] puts everything into his racing just like I do, so I’m sure that we’ll make really good team mates and we’ll be strong contenders for the championship. We’ll be going for the win.”
Following an impressive rookie British GT season in 2014 that saw Butcher secure two podiums and four top ten finishes; the Scotsman is justifiably enthusiastic about his return to the 2014 Teams’ Championship winning squad; “It’s really nice to have the deal all tied up early this year, and I’m delighted to back with Motorbase for a second season,” commented Butcher.
“Liam [Griffin] is one of the best amateur drivers on the grid and an excellent partner. We have a great relationship and having him on-board for the full season gives us a strong chance of getting consistent results and to build on the successes of last year. We were the fastest Aston on the grid by the end of last season and I know that the team are capable of winning the Championship so I can’t wait for the season to get underway.”
2015 marks Griffin’s sixth full season with the David Bartrum’s Kent-based squad and the 2014 GT4 class graduate and former BTCC racer is relishing his step up to the competitively packed GT3 grid. Having partnered Butcher in the #6 Aston for three rounds last season, Griffin has idea of what to expect and is eager to get back into a full campaign.
“I really missed the cut and thrust of being in a really competitive Championship last year;” said Griffin. “I think I proved at the last round at Donington that I’m capable of mixing it at the front and we’re heading into this season aiming full tilt at the Championship.”
“Having driven with Rory last year, I know that he’s a talented guy and he works very hard for the team on and off the track and it’ll be a pleasure to drive alongside him this season;” Griffin added.
Motorbase Performance will be back to defend its 2014 Teams’ Champions title and aiming to secure a second Avon Tyres British GT Championship title when the new season gets underway at Oulton Park on April 6. Details of the squad’s European plans and line-up will be announced in the coming weeks.