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Silverstone is often considered the home of British Motor Sport, and if that is the case, they send their kids to Bedfordshire to grow up and gain an education.
Beyond the likes of the much missed Dan Wheldon, the chosen finishing school is Sharnbrook and among those to stumble from those doors are Oliver Gavin, young Nick Tandy and most recently prominent on the GT scene, Joe Osborne.
SCG took some time to catch-up with him on the year ahead in British GT with the (ex-888) AmD Tuning BMW Z4 GT3, Blancpain Endurance with Barwell Lamborghini Huracan GT3 & Creventic 24H Series with Optimum Motorsport Audi R8 LMS. As they say variety is the spice of life!
SCG – We understand the BMW Z4 GT3 is the same car as you raced in British GT in 2015 in a beautiful new livery
JO – There were 3-cars at Triple-8 and this is one of them yes. I think it is the car that we ran in Blancpain last year, all three were strong cars and impossible to tell apart.
SCG – Just take a moment to review the end of last season, we felt you were quite hard done by at the finale, knocked about by a few Astons?
JO – Yeah, over the winter when bored, I’ve watched that opening stint and Lee Mowle (team-mate) was used and abused by quite a few people, apologises came flooding in, but by the time I inherited the car it was pretty fourth hand. We had to win it, so I went for a ‘British Touring Car’ style move on Jody Fanning on the last lap and apologised for that, but desperate times called for desperate measures!
SCG – Lets put all that behind us, looking to 2016 it seems a very busy year already, how do you feel about your British GT chances?
JO – Good of course, but in a championship like British GT you look to the weaknesses, and for the team at AMD Tuning there are very few within our own walls. However with the new generation of cars coming through the BMW Z4 was running flat out last year, and hence has nothing left in reserve. Much will come down to BoP and if the new generation take that forward, we are naturally going to be a little behind. Hence it is important we start the season strong get a few good results in while others get their heads round their new machinery.
SCG – Do you hope for some Balance of Performance (BoP) breaks?
JO – We certainly need the BoP to look after us, we are flat-out, we can’t go any faster we have paid our entry fee and as such look for the opportunities to win. The Pirelli tyres are a new denominator for everyone, and fortunately we ran the car in Blancpain last year on them, which as a team gives us data from last year and don’t come to them fresh like a lot of these other guys. So a few positives.
SCG – So a strong start to the season, keep out of trouble and things look good for British GT. For you personally though there is even more to this season.
JO – Yep, Blancpain Endurance, the Sprint Series clashes with other programmes I’m running in British GT & Creventic 24h Series in the Audi R8 LMS. So just Endurance with Barwell Motorsport and the new Lamborghini Huracan GT3 with Richard Abra and Oliver Gavin at Spa-Francorchamps.
With that car we have no excuses but to go for the Championship. Creventic, obviously did the Dubai 24h achieveing 4th in class with a new car, to me, the Audi R8 LMS and team Optimum MotorSport got knocked back 11-laps but finished the same behind the leader, so positive. For Mugello next weekend Frank Stippler steps down but we will be looking for wins in that championship too.
SCG – Dubai seems a long time ago !
JO – Yes, almost last year !!
SCG – Any plans for the Creventic Touring Car Silverstone 24 at the beginning of April?
JO – Possibly, there is a drive there if I want it, but I already have 18 race weekends in 2016 and need to fit some work in for McLaren and Aston Martin on their road car projects. I’ve only just got back from Laguna Seca!
SCG – We did notice that on your twitter feed and wondered whether you would be here to be honest! Good to have you back home. Well stay busy, and SportsCarGlobal.com will be watching and reporting every step of the way.
JO – Thank you very much 🙂