TOLMAN GETS GT4 MCLAREN
Joe Osborne and David Pattison set to share customer 570S GT4 in British GT
The Tolman Motorsport team will become the first UK squad to field a customer Mclaren 570S GT4 in next year’s British GT Championship, and has signed pro driver Joe Osborne and David Pattison to race it.
Tolman has opted to end its factory association with Ginetta in favour of pursuing a relationship with Mclaren in the GT4 ranks. Tolman ran Ginetta’s factory GT3 programme in British GT this year, but will take delivery of its new 570S later this year.
Osborne will return to GT4 for the first time since 2010 to head the driving force, alongside Tolman regular Pattison, who formed part of the GT3 programme this year alongside Luke Davenport.
Osborne, who won the European GT4 title in 2009, said: “This is a really exciting deal for me and it’s actually pretty personal as I know every element. I have coached David since his first test day and worked with Tolman in recent seasons too, plus I also do a lot of test work for Mclaren too.
“It’s great that everything has come full circle. David has shown with his GT3 performances that he’s become a really handy driver, and Tolman are a great team that I respect a lot.
“It will be strange heading back to GT4. I did the first British GT4 race in the UK in 2008, so it will be interesting to see how far the class has come on in the years since.”
The programme marks the first firm customer entry of a GT4 Mclaren, which only made its debut in British GT this year running with the factory Ecurie Ecosse team.
“The Mclaren is the most advanced GT4 car around, with its carbon chassis,” added Osborne. “The performance gap between GT3 and GT4 has narrowed. The biggest difference in dropping back into GT4 is the loss of power, you’re about 100bhp down, but also the loss in aero. You have far less aerodynamic grip so you’re much busier on the limit in a GT4 car. It’s going to be a great challenge.”
Osborne has shared a BMW Z4 GT3 with Lee Mowle in British GT in recent years, but the pair have parted company for 2017 with Mowle set to share a new Mercedes AMG with Phil Keen in the Michelin GT3 Cup ( MN, Nov 16). Osborne will announce his own European programme in the coming weeks.
Osborne is leading the teamPhotos: Mclaren, Jakob Ebrey
Tolman ran Ginetta GT3S this term The 570S GT4 has proven quick in 2015