Barwell Motorsport will be returning to the European Le Mans Series this year, after its successful debut season in 2013 when the team ran the Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 GT3 which claimed third in the new GTC Class. We will be running a BMW Z4 GT3 in GTC once again, but this time it will be a new entry under the ‘Team Russia by Barwell’ banner with the car sporting a stunning new livery.
‘Team Russia by Barwell’ is a new project created by Russian drivers, Leo Machitski and Timur Sardarov, who will both make their debut in the ELMS aboard the BMW Z4. Leo, 31, is no stranger to the team, or international GT racing success, however, having claimed the 2006 British GT3 Championship title in a Barwell-run Aston Martin DBRS9, and then gone on to finish third in GT2 in the 2007 Spa 24 Hours. Whilst Leo is making a return to top-flight GT racing after a two–year break, Timur, also 31, will be entering his very first international racing championship. He comes from a rallying background and then last year made a highly successful racing debut by winning his first four Britcar GT races aboard the Barwell Z4!
The team is delighted to announce that joining Leo and Timur will be former ELMS GTE Pro Champion, Jonny Cocker. Jonny, 27, is also making a return to both Barwell and driving with Leo, as he teamed up with Machitski in 2006 for his campaigns in British GT and FIA GT3. Cocker then stayed with Barwell for the next two seasons, enjoying further British GT success and also making his debut with us in FIA GT1 (Aston Martin DBR9) and the American Le Mans Series (Aston Martin Vantage GT2). Since then he has enhanced his status as one of the UK’s brightest young sportscar stars.
We will be commencing an intensive pre-season testing programme with our 2014-spec BMW Z4 GT3 at Estoril on February 7th-9th, and the team will then be taking in further tests at Silverstone GP, Imola, and the official ELMS test at Paul Ricard. Backing for the project comes from Vimetco Extrusion, Black Ocean, Elite Daily and Bluewater.
Mark Lemmer, Barwell Motorsport Team Principal: “I am thrilled to be working with Jonny and Leo again, when they previously ran with Barwell early in their careers we achieved great success. With Timur’s potential I am confident that we are going to add to that success, and sooner, rather than later.”
Leo Machitski, Team Russia by Barwell driver: “I am delighted to be back driving for Barwell! My time with this team brings only fond memories of the personnel and of the exceptional team spirit, which is what I attribute the success of our past. I look forward to partnering up with Jonny again as we have stayed friends since 2006 BGT win and I hope to continue our success together. I feel that Timur joining, as the third driver will result in one of the strongest driver lineups in the class. Timur is one of the most naturally talented bronze drivers I have come across in some time, where he lacks experience he makes up with his methodic approach and raw ability. I am looking forward to the 2014 ELMS season; with a bit of luck this deal has all the ingredients of success. This set up would not be possible without the support of the Russian Automobile Federation and our commercial partners.”
Timur Sardarov, Team Russia By Barwell driver: “I am very excited to be joining Team Russia by Barwell, the combination of my team-mates, the car and the team could not be better for my first international racing season. I am very happy to be part of the Barwell Motorsport family.”
Jonny Cocker, Team Russia by Barwell driver: “It goes without saying that I’m extremely excited to be back with Barwell Motorsport and driving again with Leo, it’s a dream come true! Together as a team, we have had some great results in the past and I see this year being no different, witnessing Timur take 4 maiden wins was astonishing. 2014 will be one to remember!!”