Triple Eight BMW joins Brands Blancpain Sprint field
Multiple touring car champions and prominent GT squad, Triple Eight Racing will field a BMW Z4 GT3 in the second round of the Blancpain Sprint Series at Brands Hatch this weekend (9-10 May).
Triple Eight will run the sole Z4 GT3 on the historic GP loop for its British GT line-up of Joe Osborne (GBR) and Lee Mowle (GBR), who will use the event to obtain valuable track time on the 2.489-mile GP circuit, ahead of the British GT event at the track later this year (1-2 August).
Last season the Greatworth-based team fielded a Z4 GT3 in the Blancpain Sprint Series' Baku finale as a potential lead-in to a full assault on the 2015 championship, but the decision was made to focus efforts on the Blancpain Endurance Series instead.
The starting grid for the Brands Hatch weekend features two other BMW Z4 GT3s, fielded by the experienced BMW Sports Trophy Team Brasil in the Pro class, with Triple Eight’s Pro-Am competition including two Mercedes SLS GT3, and a McLaren 650S GT3.
It’s a great package we have here, Lee is quick and not unfamiliar with the track, so you’ve got to think we’ll be able to go for the class win, despite the big international names we’re up against.
With three highly experienced rivals also competing for Pro-Am honours, the British duo aren’t expecting local knowledge to be enough to get them a class victory and both Osborne and Mowle are highly motivated for the Sprint weekend. Last year's round at Brands Hatch saw the closest qualifying session (0.022s between first and second), and the closest race finish (0.408s) of the Sprint championship's season.
Last year the Blancpain Sprint Series attracted a huge crowd at the Kent venue and also received live television coverage on BT Sport. This year the SRO-run hopes to achieve a similar level of success, with three other British drivers competing and an exciting battle between the eight manufacturers looking likely to draw an even bigger attendance.
Action this weekend begins with two practice sessions on Saturday, before qualifying takes place from 17:30 BST. On Sunday the 60-minute qualifying race gets underway at 11:10, with the main race at 15:25.
Quotes from the Triple Eight Racing drivers ahead of Brands Hatch:
Joe Osborne: “I’m a big fan of Brands Hatch GP. It’s a really challenging track, and corners such as Paddock Hill Bend, Stirling along with Hawthorn and Westfield make it a proper circuit that separates the men from the boys. The BMW goes quite well at Brands, the strong aero package means we can carry good speed through the corners and put a challenge in under braking. It’s a great package we have here, Lee is quick and not unfamiliar with the track, so you’ve got to think we’ll be able to go for the class win, despite the big international names we’re up against.”
Lee Mowle: “Any chance that arises to drive on a circuit such as the Brands Hatch GP track, I always want to look at it. It’s such a superb track and with the limitations applied to the number of days that the GP loop can be used, it adds to the reverence with which drivers hold the circuit. I’m also quite keen to see what Blancpain Sprint is all about. We did Baku last year as a team, but I wasn’t able to attend, so it will be a good insight into what the series is all about; it looked really good on TV last year at Brands! In the past the BMW has gone well at Brands, the circuit has a lot of world-class corners, let’s hope we can cause an upset on home turf!”
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