Longtime Intelligent Money British GT Championship rivals Balfe and Barwell unite in 2023. The longest serving British GT driver Shaun Balfe has joined former competitors Barwell Motorsport for a championship challenge in the new for 2023 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2. It marks the end of Balfe’s run as an owner driver in the series but the combination of his experience and Mark Lemmer’s championship winning pedigree as a team owner should be hard to beat.
Adding to the recipe for success is the inclusion of Sandy Mitchell in the line up. Mitchell claimed the British GT championship title in 2021 alongside BTCC legend Rob Collard. That victory went a long way towards securing the Scot a place on the Lamborghini Squadra Corse list of professional drivers. As a pro he returned to Barwell in 2022, sharing with Adam Balon in the championship.
Shaun Balfe’s CV doesn’t read as well but his exploits in the championship are a a tale of impressive determination and equally outstanding bad luck. In 2003 he fell short of the title in the deeply impressive Mosler while his 2019 campaign was just five points off title glory. In recent years he made a habit of running cars others steered clear of.
He ran the McLaren 650S GT3 when no-one else would. He debuted the McLaren 720S GT3 in the series. Then he brought the Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO to the championship. In 2022 he sold Balfe Motorsport after cutting his full season campaign short.
“Having competed against Barwell for several years, I’d always seen them as the ones to watch, the team that consistently delivers results,” Shaun told BritishGT.com. “So being part of historically what’s been a ultra-successful team, a team that’s stayed loyal to the exciting Lamborghini brand, and adding Sandy, a team-mate that despite his relatively still growing experience has already won a British GT Championship and consistently competes with top level Pro drivers, then I’m clearly very excited and motivated to help keep Barwell in the top tier of BGT.”
The alliance between former rivals brings hope for Shaun Balfe’s maiden title in the British GT Championship. Fans can see the #78 Balfe backed Barwell Motorsport Lamborghini at the British GT media day in March.