UK racing team Barwell Motorsport is returning to the newly titled GT World Challenge Europe (previously known as the Blancpain GT Series), with a two-car squad of Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evos in the 2020 Endurance Cup. The 2018 and 2019 Am Cup Drivers and Teams Endurance Champions will again be fielding an Am car as part of its squad, with Leo Machitski returning to defend his title and also go for the hat-trick of Drivers Championship crowns!
Joining Leo for all the rounds except the Spa 24 Hours will be his fellow two-time Am Cup Drivers Champion and multi-season Barwell driver, Adrian Amstutz. Adrian has decided he just couldn’t stay away after previously announcing he was stepping away from the series at the end of last season! Having won the Spa 24 Hours in 2018 and finished runner-up in the classic Belgian race last year, however, he has decided that he has nothing left to prove in this event and will relinquish his seat in the Huracan to Richard Abra. The British driver will again return for a one-off appearance in the Barwell Am car line-up, as he has done very successfully over the last couple of years.
There will be an exciting new full-season participant joining our team this year, in the form of American racer, Richard Heistand. The Floridian driver made his ‘Blancpain’ debut at last year’s Spa 24 Hours, where he was part of the Strakka Racing Mercedes squad that claimed a ProAm class podium. Richard has joined Barwell Motorsport on the back of a very successful season in the IMSA Weather Tech Sportscar Championship, where he claimed a pole position and two race victories in GTD with AIM Vasser Sullivan Racing team mate Jack Hawksworth. Richard’s successes in 2019 saw him win the Bob Akin Award; a prestigious award where the winner gains an entry in the Le Mans 24hrs.
Backing for our Am Cup campaign will again come from our long term commercial partner Vimetco Extrusions, plus also Vi Holding and Amstutz Produkte, and we will commence our pre-season testing programme at the Official SRO Championship test at Paul Ricard on March 12th-13th.
Leo Machitski: “It’s great to welcome Richard Heistand into our driver line-up, plus to get back my great friend and long-time team-mate, Mr Amstutz, for four of the races is fantastic ! Once again with our Lambo Huracan Evo, Barwell team, and drivers across the season, we have a great package. I feel fitter and stronger than ever and can’t wait to get started on our quest to defend our title.”
Adrian Amstutz: “Last season I took the decision to step back from competing in the 24 hours of Spa and therefore the series. Before the celebrations had even ended over our second Am title, Leo asked me if I would come back and do the other four GT World Challenge Europe endurance races with him in 2020, and I didn’t take much persuading! I love the racing in this series and can’t wait to get back behind the wheel and try and help both Leo and Barwell secure a third successive title.”
Richard Heistand: “To be asked to join a championship winning team alongside a championship winning driver pairing is something I am really proud of and I’m grateful to Leo, Adrian and the team for giving me this opportunity. Whilst this is my first year driving the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, I am competing in the 2020 NAEC races in IMSA in the Lambo, beginning with Daytona so I’ll be up to speed and ready to go for Monza, in pursuit of the hat-trick! “