Oman Racing Team out in force for Oulton Park season opener

The Oman Racing Team heads to Cheshire’s stunning Oulton Park circuit this Easter weekend (April 4-6) for the first round of the 2015 Avon Tyres British GT Championship.

A packed grid of 18 GT3 and 16 GT4 competitors is expected to line the grid for the bank holiday double header and competition will be fierce for the reigning Teams’ Champions three car Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 line up during each of Monday’s two, hour-long races.

“After what feels an age, it’s great that Easter has arrived and we can go racing again!” said Motorbase Team Principal David Bartrum. “It’s been quite an achievement for Motorbase to get three Aston Martin’s on the grid and I’m looking forward to hopefully getting some good results with probably three of the best driver pairings you could assemble.”

Following a dream start to the season on the challenging circuit last year, Bartrum and the Oman Racing Team are hopeful of a repeat performance this time out. “Last year Ahmad stuck the Aston on pole and we went on to win the first race, it’ll be hard act to follow but we’ll give it our best.”

Making his return to the Motorbase-run squad for a third season is 2014 British GT runner-up Ahmad Al Harthy who is joined by 23 year old Daniel Lloyd in the #2 Vantage. "We're feeling pretty confident ahead of this weekend's two races at Oulton and definitely aiming to try and start the season on the podium;” said Al Harthy. “The pre-season was trouble-free; everything went exactly to plan, and my new team-mate Dan and I gelled straight away. Oulton is an amazing circuit, it's a real challenge for the driver and always somewhere I love to race.”

Huddersfield-based Lloyd is equally upbeat about the weekend, confirming the teams’ focus remains on consistent results with a long term view of the championship challenge ahead of them. “Our aim this the weekend is to get some good points in the bag; I think it’s important to get a strong start to the season.

“The big goal is the championship this season, so to grab some good points at the start will be a good result; Lloyd added. “A trophy would be quite a nice way to start off the season as well though!”

Rory Butcher returns for his second year in the #6 Vantage with Liam Griffin alongside him for his first full season in the GT3 class, and both feel confident that the Aston will once again show its mettle on the demanding Island layout. “I expect the Aston to be very strong around Oulton Park due to its fast flowing nature. Hopefully this is something we can take advantage of as a team and get our championship off to good start;” commented Butcher.

Griffin added; “Oulton Park is a circuit that the Aston really likes although it is quite narrow so qualifying will be important. It is quite a short session this weekend so it will be vital that we get a good lap in.”

This weekend also sees BTCC star and Motorbase stalwart Mat Jackson make his competitive debut in the British GT Championship. Although familiar with the circuit, having celebrated many wins here over the years, Jackson has both new machinery and a new driver partner to contend with.

“I’m really looking forward to my first outing in the Aston Martin GT3 Car in the British GT Championship this weekend. The series has a very competitive grid of cars and drivers and will be a close race I’m sure;” enthused Jackson. “We had a productive test in the car last week and while Phil [Drybrough] and I have both had limited running in the car, I think that Oulton could be a great weekend for us and the Motorbase team. I’m sure that the Aston Martin will suit the fast flowing layout of Oulton Park, the challenge that lies ahead is extremely exciting and one that I can’t wait to get my teeth into!”

Experienced GT racer Phil Dryburgh joins Mat in the #4 Aston this coming weekend and is looking forward to his return to the BGT grid after the pairing had their first outing together at the official media day test at Brands Hatch last week (March 25). It felt funny at testing having Mat Jackson, star driver, asking my advice! Joking aside, Mat's a proper down to earth non-affected young driver with a great track record and by FP 2 on Saturday I guarantee he'll be an accomplished GT driver.

Dryburgh concluded; “David Bartrum knows when I'm in the car I take it seriously, but my over-riding requirement is to have a good fun weekend. That being said though I am desperate to get that elusive BGT podium! 4ths at Oulton, Snetterton and at Zandvoort are my highlights, but badly need to be bettered.”

After free practice and qualifying sessions on Saturday, the opening race of the 2015 season starts at 12 noon on Bank Holiday Monday (April 6) with the second one hour race scheduled for 4pm. The action will be covered in an edited highlights programme on Channel 4 and Motors TV on April 11th with live event timing available online at

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