Following their debut at Donington Park back in October 2022 GT Cup champions Simon Orange and Michael O’Brien will join the Intelligent Money British GT Championship for a full-time season in the Orange Racing powered by JMH McLaren 720S GT3.
The Pro Am pairing clinched fourth place at the 2022 Donington Decider with O’Brien setting the fastest lap in the process. The team’s preparations for 2023 also an entry in to the Asian Le Mans Series which takes place through February. British GT race winner Marcus Clutton will join the team for the four races.
2023 will see O’Brien make a full season return after last contesting a season alongside James Baldwin back in 2020. Since then, his association with McLaren has seen him racing elsewhere, but his most notable success was taking the GTH championship in GT Cup in a 570S GT4.
O’Brien returned to the cockpit of a 720S at the start of last year alongside Orange who won GT Cup’s Overall and GTA championships in 2020. He then retained his GTA title in 2021 before going on to win the Overall, GT3 and Teams’ Championships in 2022 with O’Brien in what proved to be a stellar season for the team.
Orange is now hoping to carry that form into his first full-season British GT campaign, which begins at Oulton Park over Easter Bank Holiday Weekend.
“After what turned out to be quite a year in 2022, I can’t wait to get started again, only this time at the top level of GT racing in the UK by joining the Intelligent Money British GT Championship,” he said. “It’s going to be really tough as the other drivers, and teams, are the best in the business. But I believe in what we have built over the last few years and we go into this season with a great car and a great team.
“Having Michael as part of the team is a massive help. We’ve built a great relationship, on and off the track, and he’s constantly trying to improve me as a driver and it’s now time to put that knowledge to good use. In Michael we have one of the quickest Pro drivers out there and we haven’t signed up for the experience, we’re here to take it to the other teams and win races! Bring it on!”
O’Brien, who also missed out on the GT4 drivers’ title by just two points in 2018, heads into the new season confident of challenging the championship’s established GT3 contenders.
“I’m delighted to be heading back to the Intelligent Money British GT Championship full time this season with Simon and the team at Orange Racing powered by JMH, after a hugely successful first two seasons together,” he said. “We’ve got a busy winter ahead with a full campaign in the Asian Le Mans Series but that should also serve as great preparation for myself, and the team, and put us in a strong position for the season opener at Oulton Park.”
“Despite a strong showing at the Donington Decider last season, we can’t afford to take our foot off the gas, such is the level of the championship! My goal is clear: I’m here to win the championship and I want to make sure we’re in a position to do that. With such a strong team, and team-mate, around me, alongside the mighty McLaren 720S GT3 we’re in a good place coming into the ‘23 season.”
Season 31 of the Intelligent Money British GT Championship gets underway at Oulton Park on April 8 & 10.