Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse embarks on another British GT season in 2016 as a McLaren GT customer team, also confirming factory driver Rob Bell behind the wheel of the McLaren 650S GT3 alongside Alasdair McCaig.
The legendary Scottish squad is also delighted to be continuing its partnership with Black Bull whisky, which this season will become the team’s title sponsor. With a history of racing and winning for over 60 years, Ecurie Ecosse has become one of the iconic names in global motorsport. The patriotic blue and white machines have claimed victories in some of the world’s biggest races with some of the most famous names in the sport, with its latest achievement being the 2014 British GT title.
Briton Bell joins the historic outfit to compete in a full domestic championship for the first time since 2002, having since enjoyed success in international series with five wins in the past decade. With an extensive knowledge of the circuits included in British GT’s 2016 calendar, the 36-year-old will also bring vast experience racing the 650S GT3 to the team having claimed the Asian Le Mans Series title, a double victory in the Blancpain Endurance Series and a podium at the Gulf 12 Hour race. Meanwhile, McCaig returns to the Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse British GT line-up having competed in various European GT series for the past four years.
Rob Bell, Factory Driver, McLaren GT: “It is great to have the chance to race back on home soil. Since joining McLaren GT as a Factory Driver in 2011 I have had the opportunity to race at some of the world’s most iconic circuits like Monza, the Nurburgring, Sepang and Spa, to name a few. But it is always special to race on my old stomping grounds with the support of the British fans, which are the best in the world. The British GT championship has been growing in stature over the past few years, and this season looks set to be one of the toughest yet for the team, the 650S GT3, and myself but I am confident that all parties are fully up to the challenge. I am looking forward to working with Alasdair throughout the season, and it will be very special to have the opportunity to race with Ecurie Ecosse – a team that has an unrivalled heritage in sportscar racing.”
Andrew Kirkaldy, Managing Director, McLaren GT: “The level of competition in British GT has always been high but is rapidly becoming one of the world’s toughest GT3 championships, and it will be great to see a McLaren wearing the famous Ecurie Ecosse colours for the first time. The team are in a great position ahead of the championship assault and Rob brings significant experience, which will help them hit the ground running from the first round. He will be a great partner for Alasdair especially given his familiarity with the 650S GT3 and the circuits on this year’s calendar.”
Alasdair McCaig, Driver, Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse: “As this exciting chapter begins for Ecurie Ecosse, it brings our partnership with Barwell Motorsport to a close and I would like to take this opportunity to wish them all the best for the season ahead. Barwell laid the foundations for my GT racing knowledge and I owe that to Mark Lemmer and his fantastic team. I would also like to thank Black Bull Whisky and the John Clark Motor Group for their continued support for the 2016 season. As for the year ahead, I’m looking forward to driving alongside Rob who has a wealth of experience and I am sure we will be challenging for top results from the first round.”
Euan Shand, Chairman, Black Bull Whisky: “We are delighted to continue working with Ecurie Ecosse for the 2016 season and believe the new partnership with McLaren will be a force to be reckoned with. For Black Bull Whisky to be involved with two such iconic brands will be a fantastic tool for our market exposure.”
Mark Lemmer, Barwell Motorsport Team Principal: “Obviously we are sad to see Alasdair moving away from the Barwell team but we have enjoyed a fantastic partnership with Ecurie Ecosse over the last four seasons, the highlights of which have been a British GT championship title as well as multiple podiums at the Spa 24 Hours. We obviously wish Al and Ecurie Ecosse all the very best in this new project with McLaren GT and we look forward to working with them again in the near future.”
Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse’s 2016 title charge kicks off at the British GT season-opener at Brands Hatch on April 17.