Photo: Paren Raval
24-year old Michael O’Brien who, it was announced in December 2018, will be joining Balfe Motorsport for the 2019 British GT Championship to drive alongside Graham Johnson in the McLaren 570S GT4, is an ambitious young man. After finishing second in the 2018 GT4 Silver drivers standings, just one point behind Jack Mitchell, O’Brien is determined to go one better in the Pro/Am class in 2019.
Interviewed at the 2019 Autosport International show at the NEC in Birmingham, O’Brien commented on his frustration over the 2018 British GT Championship season.
“It was a very frustrating year for us overall, to be completely honest,” said O’Brien, the son of BTCC driver Mike O’Brien. “The car was amazing and the team was fantastic. Obviously in hindsight there’s always things that you could have done better. I want to keep building from last year. The last race went really well for us but it seemed to be a year of second place finishes. Second four times – second in the Silver Cup.”
“It was a big disappointment for us to miss out and not to bring McLaren the championship but this year I’ve got the opportunity to give it another go so we’ll try again.”
Although O’Brien has his sights set on the GT4 Pro/Am title in 2019, he is already looking ahead to the next stage in his driving career.
“Alongside the British GT Championship, hopefully there’ll be some other opportunities with McLaren that are ‘work-in-progress’ at the moment. I’d like to get some GT3 experience this year so that’s obviously part of my ambition and, moving forward, we’re trying to push with some plans in an LMP2. I want to try, if all the stars align, to get some experience there so if there’s an opportunity to join the WEC when the Hypercar rules come in, I’m in prime position for that.”
The 2019 British GT Championship opens at Oulton Park on April 20 – 22.