AmDTuning.com can today confirm that Lee Mowle and Ryan Ratcliffe will join forces to spearhead the team’s assault on the 2017 British GT Championship.
The pair will share driving duties in the West Thurrock-based team’s all-new Mercedes AMG GT3, which will make its debut in the championship when the new season gets underway at Oulton Park over the Easter weekend.
Lee will be entering his second season with the team, having been part of the driver line-up that took sixth in the standings last year with an older-spec BMW Z4.
Armed with the new Mercedes, Lee will hope to add to the three podium finishes he secured last year as part of a busy programme that will also see him compete in the Mercedes in the Michelin Le Mans Cup alongside Phil Keen.
“Although it wasn’t part of my original plans, I’m really excited about the prospect of racing the Mercedes in British GT this year,” he said. “When the opportunity came along to race in the series, it was one that made perfect sense and I’m pleased to be returning for another season.
“As a Silver/Bronze driver pairing, we know that it will be difficult to challenge for the title but there is no reason why Ryan and I can’t surprise a few people as the year goes on; particularly as the Mercedes is a car that will be well suited to the British circuits.
“Personally I think I’m going into the season in good shape and I feel Ryan is a young driver who continues to improve and get quicker, so I think we are in for a good year together.”
Ryan joins AmDTuning.com having already shown his talent in the British series, which included winning the GT4 class title back in 2013.
The Welshman may be new to the team, but is no stranger to his new team-mate having competed alongside Lee on a number of occasions in the past – most recently when the pair were partnered together in British GT and the Blancpain Endurance Series whilst with Triple Eight.
“I had a few things lined up for this year but no full season programme, so when I got the call from Lee to see if I was interested in racing the Mercedes, I almost bit his hand off!” he said. “It’s something that was really unexpected but I can’t wait to get started, and having already driven a new generation GT3 car, I’m keen to see how the Mercedes compares.
“Hopefully the experience I gained last season will help us get up to speed quickly with the new car and will ensure we are right on the pace when we get to Oulton Park.
“On a personal level, 2016 was a difficult year on track, but I think me and Lee will be a good pairing who can run towards the front end of the grid. I think we’ll have good pace when it comes to the races where strategy will also play a role, and I’d like to think to think we can challenge for the podium positions.”
With the British GT pairing completing AmDTuning’s driver line-up for what promises to be a busy 2017 season, team boss Shaun Hollamby said he was confident that a strong year lies ahead.
“We’re pleased to have sorted a deal for Lee and Ryan to join forces in the British GT Championship this season, and are confident that they will be a strong pairing,” he said. “They know each other well from their time together at Triple Eight, and we saw first hand on track last year what Ryan can do when he was up against us.
“In the Mercedes, we have a car that should be a competitive package on track, and when it comes to the drivers, Ryan knows how put a championship bid together – having won the British GT4 title previously – and Lee is keen on improving on his most competitive season yet in 2016.
“With that in mind, I’m keen to get started with what promises to be an exciting season.”
Whilst Lee has already sampled the Mercedes during a shakedown at Silverstone earlier in the month, Ryan will get his first run in the car during a two day test at Snetterton this week.