Sean Walkinshaw joins Autobacs Racing Team Aguri-BMW

Second-generation Scottish racing driver Sean Walkinshaw has been confirmed as the second driver of the #55 ARTA BMW M6 GT3 for Autobacs Racing Team Aguri in the 2017 Autobacs Super GT Series, joining veteran ARTA driver Shinichi Takagi for his first season in Super GT.

The youngest son of the legendary driver and team principal Tom Walkinshaw was confirmed Monday morning when the GT Association released its preliminary team and driver list, bringing with him experience in the Blancpain GT Series, Formula Renault, Euroformula Open, and BRDC British Formula 3 categories to his credit.

Walkinshaw, 23, joins BMW’s top-ranked customer team in Super GT, having spent the last two years with the NISMO Global Athlete programme, competing primarily in Blancpain GT.

In 2015, he scored a maiden Blancpain GT podium at his home circuit of Brands Hatch. In 2016, he moved to Nissan GT Academy Team RJN in the Pro-Am and Silver Cup divisions, with a best finish of 19th overall in Budapest, Hungary and two Silver Cup class podiums – good enough for both he and Ricardo Sanchez to finish fourth in the Silver Cup standings.

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© GT Association

Walkinshaw will join forces with ARTA, who finished 5th in the GT300 championship last season with drivers Takagi and Takashi Kobayashi. They did this despite missing the final race of the season at Twin Ring Motegi due to a crash in the previous day’s race, with one win (Fuji 300km), two pole positions, and three podiums.

Takagi, 46, is one of the most successful and experienced GT300 competitors in Super GT history – with 143 starts to his credit, he is second all-time in race wins (17), pole positions (12), and championship points (982), and won a GT300 Drivers’ Championship in 2002 with ARTA and A’PEX (now apr Racing). Takagi tested the ARTA BMW M6 this past week at Okayama International Circuit.

Brussels-born Walkinshaw becomes only the third Scottish driver to race in Super GT, but his predecessors, Anthony Reid and Peter Dumbreck, have each won races in GT500 in their Super GT careers – a good sign for Walkinshaw as he embarks on his rookie campaign in 2017.

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