> GT4 Pro/Am champions once again supported by Imagine Cruising
> Strictly Come Dancing winner makes announcement live on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen
Reigning GT4 Pro/Am champions Kelvin Fletcher and Martin Plowman will graduate to the Intelligent Money British GT Championship’s GT3 class with JRM Racing and Bentley this season.
Former Emmerdale actor Fletcher, who became a household name after winning Strictly Come Dancing in December, made the announcement live on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen this morning.
The pair first contested British GT4 together in 2017 before winning the Pro/Am title with Beechdean AMR last season. 2020 will be the first time either driver has raced GT3 machinery, although Plowman’s CV includes an FIA World Endurance Championship title, Le Mans 24 Hours class win and several IndyCar appearances.
Both drivers will discuss their GT3 programme live on stage at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham today at 14:30.
They join a JRM squad embarking on its second full British GT campaign with Bentley’s gen-two Continental GT3, which won on debut at Oulton Park last season. The team previously won an FIA GT1 World Championship title with Nissan before overseeing the manufacturer’s GT3 programme.
“Announcing my partnership with Martin won’t be a surprise to anyone – he’s one of the quickest drivers out there, a class act behind the wheel and a great friend,” said Fletcher. “After three years of racing with him and developing that relationship, I wouldn’t be racing with anyone else.
“JRM’s stature within motorsport as World Championship winners in GT racing is something we’re really going to benefit from – their engineering expertise and how they use data to approach their car, season and races is unparalleled so I’m looking forward to using that to develop my driving as we go into [British GT’s] senior class. To be able to couple that with the best-sounding and best-looking car on the grid in the Bentley Continental GT3 is a win for us – Bentley have proven themselves not only to be a leader in luxury cars but also in motorsport too with this incredible race car.
“Imagine Cruising are onboard with us again this year – their ethos is all about offering something different in their five-star cruises to create an unforgettable experience that people really feel and that’s exactly what we want to give everyone that engages with us through the British GT Championship and our race team – joining up with them is the perfect partnership.”
Plowman added: “Joining JRM was an easy decision for us – we share the same ambitions for the season and the future too; their strategy and determination mirrored ours. Being able to race their Bentley is a dream come true for me; my favourite car of all time is the 1920s Bentley Blower. I’ve been an admirer of Bentley’s rich heritage and influence in automotive, as well as motorsport, for as long as I can remember so I’m very proud to be playing a small part in their racing history.
“Kelvin is great to share a car with; he’s innately fast and a hugely talented driver. We have built a formidable partnership as drivers and as friends – it’s a rare chemistry that gives us a significant advantage. It’s exactly what you need for consistent performance and constant improvement – it secured us a GT4 championship title last season so we’ll be using that to our advantage in GT3 as well.
“We know it’s going to be a challenge – British GT is a competitive championship and there will be a full grid so plenty of traffic to navigate, but we’re ready to take it on thanks to Imagine Cruising who have supported our step up to this next level. We’re humbled by the belief they have in us, they’ve become part of the family and we’re grateful to be sharing the season with them.”
Oulton Park hosts the opening round of 2020’s Intelligent Money British GT Championship on April 11 & 13. Resreve your tickets here.