RAM RACING TO MAKE BRITISH GT DEBUT
International racing team RAM Racing, best known for its 2013 ELMS GTLM championship victory, will make its debut in the British GT Championship this weekend with its Mercedes SLS AMG GT3.
Rising superstar Lewis Plato (GB) and experienced GT ace Alistair MacKinnon (GB) will pilot the 6.2-litre machine at the opening round of the nine-race calendar at Oulton Park in Cheshire and, although testing has gone extremely well and both drivers are looking to be incredibly competitive, team principal Dan Shufflebottom knows that this is not a great track for demonstrating the abilities of the SLS.
“Oulton Park is a fantastic track with its undulating twists and turns but we have to be realistic that, with 35 cars on track, it’s going to be tight,” he commented. “We’ve raced the Mercedes SLS in Dubai 24 Hours and Mugello 12 Hours and finished in second place in both. It’s a quick, reliable and well-built car that best suits medium to high-speed corners not the tight turns of Oulton Park.
“However, both drivers have shown great promise in testing and we are confident that they can do a good job. The aim is to come away with two clean races so we can head to the rounds the car is better suited to with some points in the bag.”
In the British GT Championship media day at Brands Hatch last week, Plato and MacKinnon were top of the timing sheet for much of the day and are pleased with how testing has gone despite knowing there is a little more work to do.
“Testing has gone well,” commented Plato. “Our long distance runs have been very successful and we are getting good longevity from the Avon tyre. We have not had as much practice with qualifying runs, however we hope to get more on the Saturday morning before qualifying.
“The car is brilliant, it has been running faultlessly through testing and we’re close to getting the most out of it. As for Outlon Park, I have always qualified in the top two and have won three races there so it’s a place I’m happy to be returning to.”
“Like Lewis, the last time I raced here I stood on the podium and it would be great to repeat that,” added MacKinnon. “We’ve had some great test sessions and we’re as ready as we can be, I just hope we manage to get two dry races and don’t get caught up in any trouble. The Ram Racing team have proven to be one of the top teams in Europe and I’m looking forward to contesting their debut British GT Championship race with them.”
The RAM Racing crew – who last year contested various rounds of the World Endurance Championship, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and are this year are looking for 24H Series championship honours – by no means feel that races at national level are any easier to win.
“If anyone thinks we are coming to the British GT Championship expecting things to be easy compared to Le Mans, they are wrong. The racing here is incredibly competitive and there are some big-name GT drivers for us to beat. We’re looking forward to getting out there and seeing what we can do.”
The first round of the British GT Championship at Oulton Park takes place on Easter weekend, with qualifying on Saturday 4 April and two one-hour races on Monday 6 April.