Ecurie Ecosse Eyes Le Mans Return With Full Season Elms Entry
By Mel Fabrikant Monday, March 11, 2013, 03:34 PM EDT
The illustrious squad, which won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1956 and ‘57, came very close to winning the British GT Championship at its first attempt last season with a 2011-specification BMW Z4 GT3, and also produced strong performances in the Blancpain Endurance Series.
Ecurie Ecosse is continuing its successful partnership with BMW Motorsport having acquired a brand new 2013-specification BMW Z4 GT3 which will again be run by two-time British GT Championship winners Barwell Motorsport. The British GT Championship rounds will be contested by drivers Oliver Bryant and Marco Attard, with Andrew Smith, Joe Twyman and Alasdair McCaig sharing two of three seats for the team’s European Le Mans Series campaign. BMW Scholarship winning driver Ollie Millroy will contest all ELMS rounds following his impressive GT debut with the team in 2012.
Ecurie Ecosse has attracted commercial backing for the season from sponsors such as John Clark Motor Group, Cotton Tree, Ragus, Tapco Homedry and The Calais Wine Superstore.
A sister BMW will enter the British GT Championship under ‘Ecurie Ecosse with Barwell Motorsport’, and will be campaigned by established British GT pairing Piers and Ron Johnson. Piers is a previous British GT race winner and the pair are now stepping up their quest for championship success by moving to the Z4 GT3, which will be sponsored by Oilfield Production Consultants (OPC) Ltd.
The 2013 ELMS GTC class champions will receive a guaranteed GTE Am class entry at the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours. Team boss Hugh McCaig therefore sees this 2013 programme as a natural progression:
“This is a very exciting development for Ecurie Ecosse. We looked at a number of options for 2013 following our return last year but believe, with the combination of BMW’s Z4 GT3 and the guys at Barwell, that we absolutely have the right ingredients in place to achieve success. We also have a team of ambitious and talented young drivers who have shown their commitment to this programme through a tireless effort to put the deal together in an extremely challenging economic environment. Ultimately we want to be back at Le Mans and this is a fantastic step in the right direction.”
Ecurie Ecosse driver Andrew Smith added:
“We are all very excited to be involved in the continuing development of the Ecurie Ecosse comeback. We are confident the BMW Z4 GT3 is one of the best chassis out there and I have no doubt that our combination of car, drivers and team will prove competitive.”
2008 BMW Scholarship winner Ollie Millroy is delighted to be continuing the development of his career as a professional driver with Ecurie Ecosse in the Z4 GT3:
“I am delighted to have been selected as the Pro driver again for the famous Ecurie Ecosse team in 2013, driving their new BMW Z4 GT3. My aim for this season is to fight for the European Le Mans Series GTC title and I have every confidence that Barwell can provide a car to do just that. I gained valuable experience with the Z4 last year and with the 2013 updates it should be an extremely strong package.”
Barwell Motorsport Managing Director Mark Lemmer is looking forward to the start of pre-season testing:
“We are delighted to have Ecurie Ecosse back in British GT where we can build on the success of last year with the team’s brand new 2013-spec BMW Z4 GT3. I’d like to welcome Marco Attard onboard; we’ve known Marco for many years and it’s great to have him with us to challenge for the British GT title with Olly. It’s also fantastic to be taking Ecurie Ecosse one step closer to a potential Le Mans return by contesting this year’s European Le Mans Series. We are going into this with the intention of winning the GTC class title and hopefully securing a prestigious entry into the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours.”
The team is exploring a number of new commercial partnership opportunities with interested sponsors.