Balfe and Beechdean Reduce BGT Commitment for 2020

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A McLaren 720S GT3.
Balfe Motorsport’s newly liveried 720S GT3, which will run a reduced programme in 2020. Credit: BritishGT.com

Balfe Motorsport and Beechdean AMR have both switched their full season 2020 Intelligent Money British GT Championship campaigns to round by round entries. The decision affects the #22 Balfe Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3 of Shaun Balfe and Rob Bell, and the #99 and #98 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin V8 Vantage AMR GT3s of Andrew Howard and Ross Gunn with Valentin Hasse-Clot and Jack Mitchell in the second car.

The Balfe Motorsport machine will not take part in Oulton Park this year but will be at both Donington Park race meetings and Snetterton but will miss the Brands Hatch and Silverstone. The other big change is that Balfe and Bell will not race the car, instead Stewart Proctor joins the GT3 field after racing in Pure McLaren and the GT4 championship with the brand. He will be joined by McLaren factory ace and British GT commentator Joe Osbourne. Proctor’s decision puts him head to head in the GT3 class with his son Lewis, who was confirmed in the Optimum Motorsport McLaren earlier this month.

“I am very much looking forward to racing with Balfe Motorsport in the British GT Championship once again this year,” Proctor said. “The late start to the season has allowed me to complete some good miles in testing with the McLaren 720S GT3 and I am enjoying the step up from GT4. The car drives and feels great and I am grateful to be in the hands of a safe and experienced team like Balfe Motorsport.

“The first race Joe and I will compete in will be at Donington Park, which is not only a track which suits the car, as shown by Shaun and Rob’s victory at the end of last season, but is also one of my favourite circuits, so it will be a fun weekend and interesting to see how we perform in what is one of the benchmark race series for GT3 machinery.”

Osbourne meanwhile dovetails his selected British GT rounds with a a full season in the GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup.

He added, “Stewart and I have a relationship which goes back almost six years now, so he is a friend and someone I have worked with since his first test days. He was one of the first Pure McLaren customers and drove the road cars, then the 570S GT4, and went into our one-make Pure McLaren GT Series.

“Now he has a 720S GT3, which makes him the perfect example of progression with everything we do at McLaren. He has outgrown what we offer at Pure McLaren currently, so that’s where our Customer Racing teams come into play. He has chosen Balfe Motorsport who know the car inside and out with Shaun and Rob’s antics last year, so it is a natural progression for him.

Beechdean AMR have also been forced, due to Prodrive and Aston Martin Racing‘s commitments to FIA WEC, to adjust their programme for the year. Valentin Hasse-Clot has shelved his full season campaign in the Silver Cup and will instead partner team boss Andrew Howard at Snetterton and Silverstone. Howard will also race at Brands Hatch with Jack Mitchell sharing the driving.

Nick Smith is a time served motorsport journalist and photographer specialising in the British GT Championship. The originator of the idea behind the British GT Fans Show, Nick works to bring all the parties together.

Outside of motor racing Nick is a articulated lorry driver, qualified transport manager, and brass musician.

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