Optimum Motorsport has confirmed plans to field a second McLaren 730S GT3 in this year's Endurance Cup as part of an expanded GT World Challenge Powered by AWS assault.
The British squad had already committed a car for Rob Bell, Joe Osborne and Ollie Wilkinson, which is set to compete for overall honours in the five-round long-distance championship. Its second challenger, which will enter the Pro-Am class, with a trio of Australian drivers sharing the 720S.
Pro driver Nick Foster will lead the line-up, switching from the Attempto Audi squad with which he contested the full 2019 season. Foster scored a podium finish in the Sprint event at Brands Hatch and was also a race winner in Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli last term at the wheel of a Ferrari.
He will be joined by fellow Aussie driver Martin Berry, who is also set to partner Foster in an Optimum-run British GT programme. The bronze-graded racer switches from Rinaldi Racing, with whom he scored a class podium at last year's Circuit Paul Ricard 1000kms.
Yasser Shahin will complete the line-up. Shahin is the executive chairman of Australian venue The Bend Motorsport Park, which will feature prominently on the crew's 720S this term. Shahin has considerable experience in his homeland and, having contested last year's Total 24 Hours of Spa, will now tackle the full Endurance schedule.
“It was always our intention to field two cars in GT World Challenge Europe and to do this as part of the McLaren Customer Racing programme is a big step for us as a team," said Optimum team principal Shaun Goff.
"With entries in both the Pro-Am and Pro championship, I’m looking forward to the season ahead where I believe our pre-season preparation will stand us in good stead. It’s a pleasure to welcome Yasser to the team; we aim to give him the best tools in the business to get the job done.”
Optimum will be on-track for the official GT World Challenge Europe test days, which take place at Circuit Paul Ricard on 12/13 March. The season-opening race will take the squad to historic Monza, which will host a three-hour Endurance Cup contest.