Joe Osborne and David Pattison will team up at Tolman Motorsport in next year’s British GT Championship, in the first customer-run McLaren 570S GT4.
The Warwickshire-based team announced on Wednesday that it would switch manufacturer allegiance from Ginetta to McLaren for the 2017 season, while also moving from the GT3 to GT4 class.
In doing so, Christopher Tolman’s squad becomes the first customer team to run the new-for-2016 McLaren 570S GT4 in any series, with just a single factory-backed car competing in 2016 under the Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse banner.
Tolman ran the Ginetta GT3 program throughout 2016, with a pair of Ginetta G55 GT3s. Pattison formed part of that lineup and has been retained for a fifth season with the team in 2017.
He will be joined by series veteran and 2009 GT4 European Series champion Osborne, who raced AmDTuning’s BMW Z4 GT3 this year.
However, it was announced last week that AmDTuning has purchased a Mercedes-AMG GT3 for competition next year, and inferred that Osborne would not be continuing with the team.
“I’m delighted to be finally racing with ‘coach’ Joe,” Pattison said of the opportunity to partner his driver coach. “I came to racing very late, fulfilling a lifetime ambition.
“Joe has been instrumental in my progress, and I am hungry to learn more. Having driven the McLaren I feel confident that we have a very good car.”
Osborne has spent the last six years in GT3, but believe that GT4 is the future of the national series and so is eager to move into the second class.
“It’s been seven years since I raced in GT4, but in 2017 it will be more competitive than this season, with more manufacturer variety,” he said. “Arguably it’ll be better to watch than GT3.
“I would say that it’ll be different being lapped again after racing in GT3, but after trying to compete with the new generation cars in the Z4 this season, it probably won’t be much different!”
Team principal Christopher Tolman explained that the decision to make the manufacturer switch is in line with the team’s longer-term ambition to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“We had a great run with Ginetta who have been very good to us, and motorsport, over the years, culminating in us running their GT3 project this season,” he said.
“Tolman Motorsport wants to get to Le Mans in the next 2-3 years and we felt McLaren are the brand to do that with.
“We’ve already got a good rapport with the team at McLaren and we’re proud to be associated with that name. It’s also a huge honor to be the first customer McLaren GT4 team.”