Two of Barwell Motorsport’s former British GT Championship-winning drivers, Leo Machitski and Marco Attard, have joined forces for a campaign in this year’s Blancpain Endurance Cup, aboard one of the Surrey squad’s gorgeous new Lamborghini Huracan GT3s.
Machitski won the inaugural British GT3 Drivers’ title back in 2006, in a Barwell-run Aston Martin DBRS9 GT3, whilst Attard claimed the overall British GT Drivers’ crown in ’14, at the wheel of the Ecurie Ecosse-badged Barwell BMW Z4 GT3. Last year Leo claimed an Am Cup podium finish in the Blancpain Paul Ricard 1000kms event, as well as 4th place in Pro-Am in the Spa 24 Hours, in his Team Russia by Barwell BMW Z4. For Marco, this will be his first full season programme in the Blancpain series, after three successful years in the British GT Championship.
Joining the duo for a full assault on the Pro-Am Class will be Lamborghini Squadra Corse factory professional driver, Marco Mapelli, from Italy. Mapelli has previously been a race winner for Audi in the Italian GT series, finishing runner-up for the past two seasons, and has competed for Porsche in the WEC in addition to being an official Pirelli test driver. His programme with Barwell this year will be his first full Blancpain series campaign.
We are also delighted to announce that we have secured the services of one of Britain’s most successful endurance sportscar racing drivers of recent years, Tom Kimber-Smith, to join Leo and the two Marcos for Blancpain’s blue-riband event, the Spa 24 Hours. Tom has won three times in the Le Mans 24 Hours, once in GT2 and twice in LMP2, and is looking to add a victory at Spa to his already impressive CV.
This Lamborghini Huracan, backed by Vi Holding Developments, Vimetco Extrusion and The Calais Wine Superstore, completes Barwell’s full-season Blancpain squad, alongside the similar example of Mark Poole, Richard Abra and Joe Osborne.
Leo Machitski: “Obviously I’m very excited to be back driving for Barwell again, and am especially excited about our great driver line-up. I’ve followed and tested alongside Marco Attard and seen him grow into a Champion. I’m looking forward to working with Marco Mapelli, for what is a very promising 2016 season ahead. We’ve been trying to make a deal happen to drive with Tom for a long time and it’s great that this has finally come true. Many thanks to all our partners for their support and also to Lamborghini Squadra Corse for their support and belief in our squad."
Marco Attard: “2016 will be my fourth year with Barwell, but my first contesting a full European series and superb events like the Spa 24 hours, so it’s a real step into the unknown. But I’m hugely excited about driving the Lamborghini Huracan, and hopefully soon we’ll be repeating the great success we’ve enjoyed during the last three years of British GT!”
Marco Mapelli: “I'm really happy to be part of this team, Leo and Marco have been in the business for a long time and I think we've got a very solid combination. What really excites me is that every member of the team is focused and dedicated and this is the only way to achieve goals. Many thanks to Lamborghini and Giorgio Sanna for their belief in me.”
Tom Kimber-Smith: “I'm excited to be back at Barwell Motorsport for the 2016 Spa 24hrs race. It's a race that I have always wanted to do and now I will have the opportunity to cross it of my list of endurance races. I have worked with the team before so feel we can hit the track running. Leo and myself have known each other for many years now but have never had the opportunity to race together, so this will be a great honour. Having paid close attention to the Lamborghini last year, I feel that with the combination of car, team and drivers we will have a strong race package.”
Mark Lemmer, Barwell Motorsport Team Principal: “It’s great to have two of our longest-standing and most successful GT customers, Leo and Marco (Attard), united together in one of our fantastic Huracan GT3s. We have to thank Lamborghini Squadra Corse for providing us with Mapelli, one of the rising stars of the world GT scene. It’s also great to have TK-S completing our talented Spa line-up. Pro-Am is always tough but we have a great package and will give it everything as always!”
(car visual by Matt Reeves Design)