Martin Plowman’s Paddock Motorsport will be fielding two entries in the 2023 Intelligent Money British GT Championship. The announcement of the first entry will see American Mark Smith paired with Plowman in the team’s McLaren 720S GT3.
Smith has been racing the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America and finished second in the 2022 standings but explored GT3 racing with an outing at Donington Park with Paddock Motorsport last season, partnering Martin Plowman in the #11 McLaren 720S GT3. Smith was mightily impressive on his British GT debut, qualifying the car with the fourth quickest time before rain curtailed the session.
Having been served a ten-place grid penalty for not completing two flying laps, Smith made up six places at the start before contact while lapping a slower car caused damage which relegated the #11 down 28 laps.
Nevertheless, Smith was impressed enough with his Donington outing to commit to a full season in 2023.
“Joining Paddock Motorsport and Martin Plowman to campaign their McLaren 720S GT3 in the British GT Pro-Am class is an incredible opportunity to both continue developing as a driver and to compete with a very strong group of racers in some amazing machinery,” he said.
“Martin is an amazing co-driver, and I am very excited to work with him. As an amateur driver, you want to find a Pro who not only has pace, but who makes that pace rub off on you. Martin’s list of wins and championships demonstrates his speed, but as I learned at Donington last year, he also makes his Am faster. I’m confident that Paddock’s engineers and mechanics will give us a great car this year and that we will have the pieces in place for a run at the podium.”
After former teammate and business partner Kelvin Fletcher departed from Paddock Motorsport due to his increasing off-track commitments, Smith will be Martin Plowman’s sole driving partner for the forthcoming season.
“I’m really excited about British GT this year, and to be working with Mark,” he said. “He enjoyed a really impressive British GT debut with us at the end of last season, and the way he adapted so quickly to both the circuit and a GT3 car shows we have real potential for this season.
“Obviously, there will be a learning curve as the championship is shaping up to be highly competitive with a big grid and a lot of quality drivers, but we have a full testing programme planned to get Mark as much experience as possible of both the car and the British circuits. I have no doubt that Mark will be one of the amateur drivers to watch this year, and I hope we’ll make a very competitive pairing.”
The team’s second entry will be revealed in the coming weeks.
The 2023 Intelligent Money British GT Championship gets underway at Oulton Park on April 8 – 10. The season-launching Media Day takes place at Donington on March 14.