Fulbeck racer Shaun Balfe gunning for British GT title

Shaun Balfe has lofty hopes for the brand new McLaren 720S GT3 EMN-190225-113753002
Shaun Balfe has lofty hopes for the brand new McLaren 720S GT3 EMN-190225-113753002

Racing driver Shaun Balfe has his sights set on the British GT title this season, having confirmed he will be giving the brand new McLaren 720S GT3 its UK debut.

The Fulbeck driver had tested the new car last September in Portimao.

“I was the first customer in the world to try it I believe,” he said.

“They wanted feedback from more of an amateur, as the works drivers Rob Bell, Ben Barnicoat and Joe Osborne had done the initial testing.”

Bell has been confirmed as the second driver for the Balfe Motorsport team again, having shared the teams 650S to the Pro-Am title in the European GT Open in 2017, and rejoined the British GT scene last season in the same car.

The new car’s lightweight carbon fibre chassis is based on the roadcar version.

“For me it has great track presence and it’s a significant step up from the 650S, which gave us our previous success,” Balfe added.

“I was disappointed with last season, but don’t feel we have anything to prove in the UK after our success in Europe.

“I am as relaxed as I can be, anxious for results, but not over-complicating things.

“Last year was a bit of a transition year, but for this season I want the title.”

The team hope to give the car its first public appearance at the British GT Media at Donington Park, before testing towards the end of March, in preparation for the opening rounds of the Championship at Oulton Park on Easter Monday.

It’s going to be a busy year for the team as they will also be running Graham Johnson’s 570S GT4 for the second year.

This year he is partnered by Michael O’Brien, a McLaren junior driver.

“It’s a strong line-up, but I am confident they will be up there, too,” said Balfe.

Just to fill in any spare time in the calendar, Balfe will so be out in selected Classic and Historic Championship events in his Lotus Cortina, including the Wolds Trophy meeting, at Cadwell Park, on June 15 and 16.