All new pairing of Johnson and Robinson make long-term commitment
GT4 Ginetta team Optimum Motorsport will sport an exciting new driver line-up for the 2015 Avon Tyres British GT Championship season with Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson joining in a Ginetta G55 GT4 and committing to a minimum three-year programme.
Although both drivers are new to British GT, it’s a pairing born of experience, both of various racing formulae as well as driving with each other. The duo both began in endurance karting, before moving into Caterham racing in 2006, before they later reunited once again in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge where Johnson took fifth in 2011 and 2012 whilst Robinson was vice-champion in 2012.
Last year the pair raced in the Britcar Production Cup with success in the form of three class wins from five races entered, two other podiums and two outright pole positions. Currently, Johnson contests Caterham Supersport whilst Robinson has just won the inaugural Michelin Clio Cup Race Series title.
Graham Johnson"Twelve years ago, Mike and I started endurance karting together and then we went on to race one another in various formula, but we said from day one that the ultimate goal was to race together in British GT. We've got sprint races out of our system, each having had a great deal of individual success, but now it's time to join together and race some of the best drivers in the country.
"Mike and I are also great friends, and because we started karting together in the same team, we've learnt together so we like the car to feel and behave in the same way. We have a very similar smooth style, we're not prone to errors, and we even share the same driving position! We're always within a tenth or two of one another, so we think we can be a very successful partnership – we've certainly been so every time we raced together."
Mike Robinson"We've partnered with Optimum Motorsport as we think they are about as close to a works Ginetta team as you can get. We've also put a deal together with Ginetta that sees us commit to British GT for at least three years, and we assume well beyond. We ultimately hope to take the Leeds-based team back onto the GT3 grid full time, but for now it's about going after GT4 race podiums, wins and hopefully the championship.
"One of the reasons we've aspired to British GT is that it is arguably the highest profile race series in the UK, but it is also internationally recognised, something that appeals to us with our truly global Cologne-based exhibition Professional Motorsport World Expo which attracts 250 exhibitors from over 30 countries.
Shaun Goff, Team Manager, Optimum Motorsport:"It's great to welcome Graham and Mike to Optimum Motorsport for their programme in British GT for 2015. That they can announce their deal so early shows the professional approach they have to next season and I'm sure we'll see this on track. It's no secret that we didn't have the season we wanted in 2014, but Optimum are ready to bounce back in 2015 and the driving combination of Graham and Mike means we should be competing at the sharp end of the grid right away!”