The field for this weekend’s season-opening Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS event at Monza has growth further with the addition of newcomer inception racing.

Run by British outfit Optimum Motorsport, which made its series debut last year, the team will field a McLaren 720S for Brendan Iribe and Ollie Millroy in the five-round championship. The Pro-Am duo are seeking an additional bronze-rated driver to join them at the Circuit Paul Ricard 1000km and at the marquee Total 24 Hours of Spa.

Ollie Millroy: “The plans quickly scaled up when we initially thought about doing the Total 24 Hours of Spa as a standalone event. It soon became clear that we should compete in at least one event prior to the 24, and the more we looked at the calendar, the clearer it became that it made sense to commit to the championship as a whole.

“Brendan was unable to race in Dubai earlier this year, so we head into this new challenge very much with our eyes on building on his year of GT3 experience to date, whilst also preparing him for his first 24 Hour race. He’s been working hard on his fitness, particularly cardio, so it’s an exciting programme and we’re confident that we can find a suitable third driver to run at Le Castellet in readiness for the Total 24 Hours of Spa.”

Bas Leinders, inception racing team manager: “Last year, Brendan and Ollie started competing in GT3 sprint races and after enjoying some outings in the UAE endurance races, it was clear that they also enjoyed that additional challenge. GTWC Europe Endurance Cup is the finest endurance championship for GT3 machinery, with of course the 24 Hours of Spa as the highlight. We see Monza as the start of the preparation towards that demanding and long race in the Ardennes.

“Both Ollie and Brendan drove very well in Monza last year in GT Open, so this gives us all extra motivation heading into round one of the championship. Although we’ve already had five race weekends between the Asian Le Mans Series, two Creventic rounds and the Gulf 12 Hours, this feels like the start of an extremely busy calendar for inception racing. Unfortunately, Covid-19 is still very present, making the organisation more complicated and we will all continue to take all the precautionary measures required to compete as safely as possible.”