Darren Leung will return to The Intelligent Money British GT Championship in 2023 driving the Century Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 in which he won the final race of last year at Donington Park. Joining Leung, will be BMW factory driver and 2019 Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion Dan Harper.
Alexander Sims helped Leung score the car’s first victory last October at Donington Park where the latter was also making his first-ever GT3 appearance and second-only British GT start.
That highly impressive performance, which also included setting the fastest Q1 qualifying time, has prompted 2022’s Ginetta GT4 Supercup Am class runner-up to join the GT3 ranks full-time with the same Century/BMW combination, albeit alongside one of the manufacturer’s newest factory recruits.
Dan Harper spent three years on BMW’s junior roster before being promoted to full works status at the end of last season following eye-catching performances with the M4 GT3 in Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS and at the Nurburgring.
The pair first raced together at the Gulf 12 Hours in December and are now ready to mount a full-scale assault on what’s shaping up to be a highly competitive British GT season.
“At the start of my 2021 rookie season in Ginetta’s GT Academy [a British GT support race] I remember the GT3s approaching the Melbourne Hairpin at Donington blowing my mind. If someone told me I’d be racing one of those in my second year I would have laughed, and if they said I’d win on my debut I would have rung them an ambulance.
“Between Century, Dan and myself, our aim is to turn up to every round leaving no stone unturned. Set the odds in our favour, and commit to every send, every lap. We’re massive underdogs, but we’ve shown at Donington it’s worth giving it everything despite all the reasons not to. A lot of great drivers are competing in British GT this year, the grids are packed, and we will be right in the thick of it giving it everything, both on and off track.
“The results, we’re not in control of, but the odds, we are.”
Harper, meanwhile, is pleased to be racing in the UK again after spending the last three years in Europe.
“I’m delighted to have this opportunity to join the British GT Championship grid with Century Motorsport,” said the 22-year-old Northern Irishman. “Over the last few years, I’ve had lots of people asking me about when I’d be back racing over here, so I’m really looking forward to competing on all the great British circuits again.
“I had a great time working with Century and Darren in Abu Dhabi, so I’m looking forward to being back with them. Both myself and the team have a year of experience with the BMW M4 GT3 now, so we’re ready to hit the ground running in pre-season testing and hopefully be at the sharp end of the grid this season.”
Century’s first 16 British GT wins were all achieved in the GT4 class over a 14-year period. And after finally achieving its first outright success at Donington, team principal Nathan Freke is now eyeing an even bigger prize…
“It’s so nice to be returning this year with the BMW M4 GT3 and it feels only right to be returning with Darren after the victory at Donington last year,” he said. “Darren, although in the very early stages of his racing career, clearly has a great natural talent and is very thorough and analytical with his driving and prep.
“We competed in the Gulf 12 Hours over the winter, and had the opportunity to work with BMW factory driver, Dan Harper. His maturity, speed and work ethic were a very pleasant surprise. It was an easy decision to continue the partnership into British GT. It’s great to further our relationship with BMW, with them supplying a factory driver and continue their trackside support for us at all British GT rounds.
“We have a very thorough test schedule where we plan to develop the car further and get as much seat time for Darren as possible. Our goal is clear: be in the championship fight come the last round and we are doing everything to be prepared and ready to achieve it.”
The GT3 joins Century’s two new and previously announced M4 GT4 entries.
Oulton Park kickstarts the Intelligent Money British GT Championship’s 2023 campaign on April 8 & 10.
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