60 years since the team was formed, legendary Scottish outfit Ecurie Ecosse will make a full-time return to top-level international sportscar racing in 2012. The team will run twin programmes in the Blancpain Endurance Series (including 24 Hours of Spa) and British GT Championship with a BMW Z4 GT3.
The illustrious squad, which won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1956 and ‘57, has been largely dormant on an international level since the 1990s when the team won the British Touring Car Championship running works Vauxhalls. This latest announcement follows a successful one-off return by Ecurie Ecosse last year when four of its drivers successfully contested the GT3 Pro-Am class of the 24 Hours of Spa in an Aston Martin DBRS9.
Ecurie Ecosse is continuing its successful partnership with two-time British GT Championship winners Barwell Motorsport who will run the programmes on the team’s behalf. The British GT Championship rounds will be contested by drivers Oliver Bryant and Alasdair McCaig, with Andrew Smith and Joe Twyman filling two of three seats available for the team’s Pro-Am Blancpain Endurance Series campaign. Barwell are seeking a suitably qualified driver with budget to fill the third Blancpain seat.
Ecurie Ecosse has attracted commercial backing for the season from sponsors such as John Clark Motor Group, Cotton Tree, Bremont and Ragus.
Team boss Hugh McCaig, who sees the 2012 programme as a natural progression towards a return to Le Mans, commented:
“This is a very exciting development for Ecurie Ecosse. We looked at a number of options for 2012 following the race at Spa last year but believe, with the combination of BMW’s Z4 GT3 and guys at Barwell, that we absolutely have the right ingredients in place to achieve success. We also have a team of ambitious and talented young drivers who have shown their commitment to this programme through a tireless effort to put the deal together in an extremely challenging economic environment. Ultimately we want to be back at Le Mans and this is a fantastic step in the right direction.”
Ecurie Ecosse driver Andrew Smith added:
“We are all very excited to be involved in the continuing development of the Ecurie Ecosse comeback. We are confident the BMW Z4 GT3 is the best chassis out there and I have no doubt that our combination of car, drivers and team will prove competitive.”
Barwell Motorsport Managing Director Mark Lemmer is looking forward to the start of pre-season testing:
“We are absolutely delighted to announce that we will be running the Ecurie Ecosse programme with the BMW Z4 and believe this is the start of what will be a very exciting and fruitful partnership.”
The team is exploring a number of new commercial partnership opportunities with interested sponsors.