PADDOCK MOTORSPORT CONFIRMS BRITISH GT RETURN WITH SMITH AND PLOWMAN
Paddock Motorsport will return the top class of this year’s Intelligent Money British GT Championship, with Mark Smith and Martin Plowman confirmed to race the team’s McLaren 720S GT3.
As the first of two planned British GT entries for Paddock Motorsport this season, Smith and Plowman will compete for outright race wins and podiums as a GT3 Pro-Am pairing in the highest class of British sportscar racing.
Smith, from California, has significant experience of racing Porsches in America, culminating in him finishing as runner-up in the 2022 Porsche Sprint Challenge North America at the wheel of a 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. He made both his British GT and GT3 debut with Paddock Motorsport during last season’s Donington Decider season finale. Smith showed impressive pace and adaption to the 4-litre twin-turbo-powered McLaren, qualifying fourth fastest during tricky conditions on his first competitive run.
Paddock Motorsport team owner Plowman forms the professional half of the pairing and brings huge motorsport experience. Having raced at one of the highest levels of single-seater competition in IndyCar, Plowman switched to sportscar racing from 2012. He won races in the American Le Mans Series before going on to lift the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 title in 2013, winning the class at that year’s Le Mans 24 Hours in the process. Plowman has been a British GT regular since 2015, and established race-winning team Paddock Motorsport in 2021.
The team’s #11 McLaren 720S GT3 will also be given a refreshed livery for the coming season, with the new design and details of team partners due to be unveiled soon.
Smith said: “Joining Paddock Motorsport and Martin Plowman to campaign their McLaren 720S GT3 in the British GT Pro-Am class is an incredible opportunity to both continue developing as a driver and to compete with a very strong group of racers in some amazing machinery. Martin is an amazing co-driver, and I am very excited to work with him. As an amateur driver, you want to find a Pro who not only has pace, but who makes that pace rub off on you. Martin's list of wins and championships demonstrates his speed, but as I learned at Donington last year, he also makes his Am faster. I’m confident that Paddock’s engineers and mechanics will give us a great car this year and that we will have the pieces in place for a run at the podium.”
Plowman said: “I’m really excited about British GT this year, and to be working with Mark. He enjoyed a really impressive British GT debut with us at the end of last season, and the way he adapted so quickly to both the circuit and a GT3 car shows we have real potential for this season. Obviously, there will be a learning curve as the championship is shaping up to be highly competitive with a big grid and a lot of quality drivers, but we have a full testing programme planned to get Mark as much experience as possible of both the car and the British circuits. I have no doubt that Mark will be one of the amateur drivers to watch this year, and I hope we’ll make a very competitive pairing.”