British GT4 race winners Mike Robinson and Patrik Matthiesen will join forces this season aboard Optimum Motorsport’s second latest-specification Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4.
The reigning GT3 Drivers’ champions concentrated on the senior class in 2018 but confirmed their GT4 return in January by announcing Jack Butel and Connor O’Brien as the first of two pairings. It has now added a second Silver Cup duo in the form of Robinson and Matthiesen, who spent last season with different teams racing different cars.
While Matthiesen remained a championship contender with HHC Motorsport and Ginetta until the final round, Robinson endured a more difficult campaign at the wheel of his McLaren. Despite winning at Brands Hatch, the Briton was unable to replicate the results that helped him finish first or second overall in each of the previous three seasons.
A return to Optimum, with whom he shared each of those successes in 2015-17, is just what the doctor ordered.
“I’m delighted to be returning to Optimum Motorsport; we have a great history of success together in the British GT Championship,” he said. “Since leaving at the end of 2017 they have developed a great relationship with Aston Martin Racing and having had the chance to test an early version of the 2019 V8 Vantage GT4, I was extremely impressed with the car and the direction they have taken the car in. Added to that I am extremely pleased to be partnering with Patrik in 2019.
“The GT4 category continues to go from strength-to-strength and is attracting a lot of young drivers looking to progress their racing careers. Patrik showed in 2018 that he is ready to fight for the title and we are already working hard to make sure we hit the ground running at the first round and mount a strong challenge for the title.”
Matthiesen, meanwhile, proved to be one of 2018’s standout rookies after leading the GT4 standings for much of the season before finishing fourth. The Dane believes Optimum’s record ensures he’ll be a contender again from the start.
“Over the years I have been in dialogue with Optimum Motorsport and team principal Shaun Goff. If there is a team that has proven that they can deliver the goods, it is them, both in GT3 and GT4. We went to a meeting with Shaun, I had the pleasure of meeting Mike. I went away with a really good impression.
“In 2018, along with my then-co-driver Callum Pointon, we led for a good part of the season, but outside circumstances made us end up fourth. We’re confident we won’t have such issues this year and I’m really looking forward to working with Mike and the team’s other drivers Connor and Jack. It will be an exciting season ahead and we’ll all co-operate and work together to get the best results.”
Team principal Shaun Goff added: “It’s a pleasure to have Mike back with us as we have enjoyed a lot of success together in GT4 – many wins, championship challenges and championship success. We’re looking forward to working with Patrik for the first time too. He showed a great deal of dedication and speed in his rookie campaign in the British GT Championship last year and together with Mike, makes for a strong line-up.
“No doubt it’s going to be a very competitive category this year, but as we proved last year with Aston Martin, we should not be underestimated and we expect to be challenging with both cars from the outset.”