Balfe Motorsport is very happy to welcome back its competitive GT4 Pro-Am pairing of Graham Johnson and Michael O’Brien for the 2020 British GT Championship in a McLaren 570S GT4, with a stunning new livery, designed by Nick Moss.
The first part of what will be an expanded two-car GT4 effort, alongside the already announced return of Shaun Balfe and Rob Bell in a McLaren 720S GT3, Graham and Michael are targeting not only Pro-Am honours but have their sights set on the overall GT4 title.
Graham is a two-time Pro-Am champion and took the GT4 crown in 2016, while McLaren Professional Driver Michael was unlucky to miss out himself in 2018, finishing just two points short of the championship win.
With two Pro-Am victories and five podiums during the 2019 season, the duo had the pace to be at the front of the field, but bad luck at several rounds curtailed their chances of claiming the championship. However, both are motivated to bounce back strong for the forthcoming campaign, where the two-car entry will also help Balfe Motorsport challenge for the Teams’ title as well.
The 2020 British GT Championship season begins at Oulton Park in Cheshire over the Easter weekend of April 11 and 13, with two tricky one-hour contests. Details on Balfe Motorsport’s second GT4 entry will be announced in due course.
“The expanded team will help us cover more ground in terms of exploring setups, plus it’ll give me and Michael a new, more immediate benchmark to compete against.
“I feel very fortunate to continue my partnership with Michael. He’s such a talent in the car and we’ve got a great relationship out of it. He pushes me out of my comfort zone and re-introduced me to karting for the first time in over 15 years! He’s also got me using a sim for the first time. Indeed, I’ve just invested in a sim for my home thanks to Michael’s influence.
“Michael and I unquestionably have unfinished business in British GT. Were it not for refuelling issues at both Silverstone and Donington or for a reliability issue at Brands, we would have won the Pro/Am title this year. I also promised Michael at the start of this year that I’d help him get that elusive first outright British GT4 win, but while we came close a couple of times in 2019, I still owe him! I plan to ensure that I come good on my promise at least once in 2020, plus I want to win another GT4 title. I’m confident that Michael and I will be fighting for the overall GT4 Championship in 2020.”
“I’m absolutely delighted to be continuing with Graham and Balfe Motorsport in 2020. Missing out by just two points in 2018 and then finishing second in Pro-Am this season means I definitely feel like there’s unfinished business. I’m more motivated than ever to go one better in 2020.
“Both myself and Graham are fully focused on all areas of driver improvement throughout the winter and together with the hard work of the team, I’ve got a good feeling that we’ll hit the ground running next season.”
“I am so pleased to be continuing a working relationship with both of these two absolute gentlemen. Both Graham and Michael are lovely guys to go racing with, rain or shine, and I am happy they are returning for next season.
“They make a very competitive driver pairing and will no doubt be challenging at the front of the grid come the start of the season. Their return can only be seen as a win-win for Balfe Motorsport for 2020.”