08 February 2016 POOLE/ABRA/OSBORNE TO CAMPAIGN BARWELL LAMBORGHINI HURACAN IN BLANCPAIN
Barwell Motorsport will contest the Pro-Am class of the full Blancpain Endurance Cup for the third season in succession in 2016, and is delighted to welcome back to its fold a previously successful driver line-up of Mark Poole, Richard Abra and Joe Osborne. The all-British trio will campaign one of Barwell’s stunning new Lamborghini Huracan GT3s in the series, as part of the Surrey-based outfit’s two-car Blancpain team.
Poole and Abra started their GT3 careers with a Barwell-run Aston Martin Vantage towards the end of 2012, going on to contest most of the British GT Championship and other selected races in 2013. Osborne joined them that year for a one-off encounter in the Blancpain Endurance 3-hour race at Silverstone, where the drivers and Barwell jointly claimed their first podium finish in the series with a strong run to 2nd place in Pro-Am. As well as some good showings in British GT, the Poole/Abra combination also claimed outright victory in the British Endurance Championship Silverstone 1000kms event in 2013.
For 2014 Osborne was re-united with them for a full attack on the Blancpain Endurance Series aboard a factory-run Aston, where they again finished runner-up at Silverstone on their way to 4th in the final Pro-Am standings. Barwell has also gone on to enjoy continued success in the Blancpain series, claiming 2nd in Pro-Am (7th overall) in the ’14 Spa 24 Hours, en route to 3rd in the championship standings with the Ecurie Ecosse-entered BMW Z4. Last year saw Barwell enter two cars in the Spa 24h race for the first time, claiming another podium for Ecurie Ecosse in 3rd, with the sister Team Russia Z4 incredibly less than a lap behind in 4th spot after a stunning overall team performance.
The JCAM/MP Motorsport-backed Lamborghini Huracan will be carrying out an extensive pre-season testing programme, kicking off with a Spanish tour of Barcelona and Valencia in February before taking in the Official Blancpain test at Paul Ricard and then on to Monza in March. In addition to his Blancpain Endurance campaign, Mark Poole will also be contesting the British GT races at Silverstone and Spa in his Huracan, alongside Barwell’s regular two-car squad. Barwell Motorsport will be announcing the details of their second Blancpain Endurance Cup entry shortly.
Mark Poole: “Taking a break from motorsport isn’t as easy as it sounds so I’m very happy to be back and part of this unique partnership with Lamborghini and Barwell Motorsport! I can’t seem to get rid of Joe and Richard but happy to enter Blancpain as a true Pro-Am entry for a full season attack! "
Richard Abra: “To be back with Barwell in this new era of GT3 racing is super exciting. We have a strong team, strong car and fast drivers so I cannot wait to get started! I have a few cobwebs to blow off after a year out but will be ready as ever come the first race at Monza!
Joe Osborne: Our 2016 attack on the Pro-Am Blancpain looks strong. Mark is more committed than ever, and Richard has had a year out so is itching to get going again. Barwell have been providing cars that have been the thorn in my side for the last few years, so it will be good to join them rather than have them beat me!
Mark Lemmer, Barwell Motorsport Team Principal: We are delighted to have Mark, Richard and Joe back on board for a full season assault on Pro-Am. The support we have from Lamborghini Squadra Corse has allowed us to put together a really serious test programme, and with this talented driver line-up we aim to challenge for podiums from round one at Monza. Mark is a big part of what we are doing at Barwell and we are united in sharing many common goals for the seasons ahead. (car visual by Matt Reeves Design)
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