Grantham, Lincolnshire-based Balfe Motorsport will return to the British GT Championship for the first time since 2013 with entries in both the GT3 and GT4 classes.
Shaun Balfe will partner Rob Bell in the GT3 category with their McLaren 650S GT3 while Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson will bring their PMW Expo Racing McLaren 570S GT4 to the team.
Shaun Balfe and Ron Bell are the current International GT Open Pro/Am champions after a season that saw them winning in Portugal, Britain and Italy.
“We’ve had a couple of great seasons in Europe, winning the Pro/Am title and finishing second overall but now it’s time for a new challenge and British GT most definitely provides that,” said Shaun Balfe. “Yes, Rob and I have been racing the 650S for the last year-and-a-half and we enjoy a great Pro/Am relationship but there’s a lot of unknowns this season and we expect to start on the back foot.”
After three successful years with Wakefield-based Optimum Motorsport, during which they won the 2016 GT4 Drivers Championship, Graham Johnson and Mike Robinson are looking forward to working with Rob Balfe and his team for the upcoming season.
“Dave Eden, Global Motorsport Commercial and Brand Manager at McLaren, introduced Mike and I to Balfe Motorsport in November last year, and when we looked at the team’s long list of successes we were, of course, impressed,” said Graham Johnson.
“Thankfully that positive impression continued when we visited Shaun and his team’s first-rate facilities near Grantham and having factory driver Rob Bell as part of the team is, of course, invaluable too. We came away from that first meeting understanding why McLaren had pushed us towards Balfe. Mike and I wanted to sign on the spot!”
Chief Engineer Geoff Kingston has also joined Johnson and Robinson at Balfe.
The 2018 British GT Championship season opens at Oulton Park on March 31 – April 2.