BTCC star, Sam Tordoff, will join title-winning team Barwell Motorsport for his debut season in the British GT Championship in 2017. Sam will partner up with Liam Griffin, who is returning to the squad after a race-winning programme this season, aboard one of Barwell’s stunning Lamborghini Huracan GT3s. The car will be entered under the GardX racing with Barwell Motorsport banner.
The signing of Tordoff is a major coup for both Barwell and the British GT Championship, as the 2016 BTCC runner-up switches his career focus over to GT racing. The 27-year-old Yorkshireman has been a race–winner in everything he has contested on the TOCA package, including Touring Cars, Porsche Cup and Renault Clios, and is sure to carry on that pedigree as he makes his debut in British GT. Sam has previously driven in GTs, however, when he made selected appearances in the 2015 ELMS aboard a JMW Motorsport Ferrari 458 GTE.
Liam was one of the fastest Am drivers in the 2016 British GT series, and took the first win for Barwell’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3 at Oulton Park (with Adam Carroll). He was running second in the title chase and set to mount a serious challenge before his season was derailed at Silverstone, when an errant Dutch GT4 series interloper took him out of a strong potential race-winning position. But having proved his pace all season, Griffin is certain to be very strong again in 2017.
The pairing will be mounting a very strong challenge for the overall British GT title in 2017, and will start their preparations with a pre-season test in Barcelona next March before moving on to the UK circuits. In addition to primary commercial partner, GardX vehicle protection, Liam and Sam’s car will also receive support from Premia Solutions and AutosOnShow.tv.
Sam Tordoff: “I am really excited about 2017 as I embark on a new career in GT Racing. It is something we have looked at pursuing for a while, and when this opportunity presented itself with Liam and Barwell Motorsport it was the perfect time to jump ship. I’ve known Liam for a long time and I think together in the Lamborghini we have all the tools in place to mount a serious title challenge. The British GT Championship is going from strength to strength and I am very aware of the expectations of the Team to be at the sharp end of it – I cannot wait to get started!”
Liam Griffin: “I’m really pleased to be back in BGT for 2017 and with a new team-mate that might raise a few eyebrows! Sam had a great year in BTCC being both quick and consistent, attributes that are well suited to GT racing and ones that I hope rub off on me, to allow us to compete at the sharp end of the Championship. I think that the BGT is going to be incredibly competitive this year with any one of the current entries capable of winning a race. Consequently every second will count and I am hoping that another year with the Lamborghini, for both me and the team, will give us that extra bit of pace to finally topple those pesky Astons!”
Mark Lemmer, Barwell Team Principal: “Sam has emerged as one of the UK’s most talented and successful star drivers, he has all of the ingredients that we would look for to make a top quality GT driver. It is an absolute pleasure to welcome him to the ‘Barwell family’ for his first full season in GTs to partner Liam. It’s great to welcome Liam back, I’ve got a really positive feeling about this pairing. We know that Liam is naturally super quick and can beat anyone on his day. I am sure he will benefit from Sam’s meticulous preparation and from it being his second season in the Lamborghini Huracan GT3. I think sharing with three different Pros last season wasn’t, in hindsight, the best situation for Liam, but having Sam as a full season team-mate should take Liam’s performance to another level.
Also we must give credit to SRO for listening to the Teams and competitors regarding improvements to the GT3 class, and for implementing many really positive changes for 2017. It all makes drivers want to be a part of the Championship, and is helping to achieve yet another top quality GT3 entry for what is looking like very exciting 2017!”