The McLaren 570S GT4 leads championships in the USA and Europe as 720S GT3 makes North American debut

7 May 2019

  • Motorsports In Action now leads Michelin PILOT Challenge after top-10 finish in Mid-Ohio
  • P3 and P7 finishes at Brands Hatch circuit extend GT4 European Series championship lead for Equipe Verschuur
  • McLaren 720S GT3 makes strong US debut before racing contact brings the race to a premature end

McLaren Customer Racing GT4 teams extended the lead in two of the world’s most competitive GT4 championships over the weekend. Motorsports In Action now holds the GS-class championship lead in the Michelin PILOT Challenge after a P7 finish at Mid-Ohio, while Equipe Verschuur further strengthened its position at the top of the GT4 European Series standings following a podium and a P7 finish at Brands Hatch, UK. The 720S GT3 made its highly-anticipated US debut with customer team Compass Racing and secured a solid top-10 qualifying result before the team was forced to retire from the race early after an on-track incident.

Heading into the weekend in Mid-Ohio, GT4 customer team Motorsports In Action shared the top position in the Michelin PILOT Challenge after the second round, with the team looking to build on a solid start to the year. Drivers Corey Fergus – racing at his home circuit – and Jesse Lazare made a strong start to the weekend, qualifying the #69 570S GT4 on the front row of the grid in P2. Changeable weather conditions during the race saw a shake-up of the grid order, but the team remained in the points-paying positions bringing the car home in P7, and crucially ahead of the closest championship rivals. This result saw the Canadian-based outfit move ahead on points in the championship standings heading to round 4 at Watkins Glen.

Also on the bill in Mid-Ohio was the inaugural round of the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup where customer team Compass Racing with Factory Driver Paul Holton and teammate Matt Plumb gave the 720S GT3 its North American race debut. Plumb took the wheel in qualifying and secured P8 in class. The race saw the striking dayglo orange and grey #76 entry fighting for position within the top-10 before suffering heavy contact. This saw a drive-through penalty handed to the team who had come together with Compass Racing, but the contact ultimately led to the premature end for the debut outing of the 720S GT3.

In Europe, the #14 570S GT4 of customer team Equipe Verschuur enjoyed further success at Brands Hatch, UK after double race victory during the season-opening weekend in Monza. Racing as part of a grid with more than 30 GT4 cars, drivers Benjamin Lessennes and Daniel McKay secured a front row start for both races of the weekend, lining up P2 for Race 1 and taking pole position for Race 2. After a lengthy Safety Car period during the weekend’s opening race, the team was involved in a close battle to the flag, eventually crossing the line in P3. In Race 2, a gamble on strategy saw the team bring the car home in P7, extending the lead of the championship to 14 points. Also on the Brands Hatch grid was the #11 570S GT4 of customer team Las Moras by Equipe Verschuur which scored a double podium in the Am class to keep Lissette Braams second in the standings and firmly in the title hunt.

In China, McLaren Customer Racing team The Winning Team competed with a trio of 570S GT4s in the second meeting of the 2019 China GT Championship season at Ningbo. The team achieved its best results during the first race of the weekend, with the #570 narrowly missing out on a podium place in P4, while McLaren Young Professional Charlie Fagg and teammate James Cal took P6. In the second race, all three of its challengers finished in the top 10.

Ends

Notes to editors:
A selection of high resolution images accompanying this release is available to download from the McLaren Automotive media site – cars.mclaren.press

About McLaren Automotive:
McLaren Automotive is a creator of luxury, high-performance sportscars and supercars.

Every vehicle is hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Centre (MPC) in Woking, Surrey, England.

Launched in 2010, the company is now the largest part of the McLaren Group.

The company has defined product families: Sports Series, Super Series, Ultimate Series and Motorsport which are retailed through over 80 retailers in more than 30 markets around the world.

McLaren is a pioneer that continuously pushes the boundaries. In 1981, it introduced lightweight and strong carbon fibre chassis into Formula 1 with the McLaren MP4/1. Then in 1993 it designed and built the McLaren F1 road car - the company has not built a car without a carbon fibre chassis since. As part of the Ultimate Series, McLaren was the first to deliver a hybrid hypercar, the McLaren P1™.

Announced at Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2018, the company’s Track25 business plan will see it invest £1.2billion in research and development to deliver 18 new cars or derivatives by the end of 2025.

In 2018, the company launched the 600LT and the first two cars of Track25, the McLaren Speedtail, the next Ultimate Series, and McLaren’s first ever Hyper-GT, and 720S Spider. It also opened a new £50m McLaren Composites Technology Centre in the Sheffield region in the North of England that will see it produce the next generation of lightweight carbon fibre ‘tubs’ that are at the heart of all McLaren cars.

2019 saw McLaren launch the 600LT Spider confirmed as the third car of Track25, with a new GT car announced and the previously-confirmed track-only Senna GTR unveiled.

To support the development, engineering and manufacture of its range of innovative sportscars and supercars, McLaren Automotive partners with world leading companies to provide specialist expertise, technology and solutions. These include Richard Mille, Pirelli, Dell Technologies, Ashurst, AkzoNobel and OnePlus.

McLaren Group:
The McLaren Group is a global leader in luxury automotive and technology and comprises three businesses: Automotive, Racing and Applied Technologies.

Further information:

Roger Ormisher
Head of Global and North American Communications | McLaren North America
Phone: +1 714 501 8137

Email: roger.ormisher@mclaren.com

Paul Chadderton
Global Product Communications and PR Manager | McLaren Automotive Limited
Phone:+44 (0) 1483 261500
Mobile: +44 (0) 7990 776749
Email: paul.chadderton@mclaren.com

Dave Eden
Global Motorsport Commercial and Brand Manager | McLaren Automotive Limited
Phone: +44 (0) 1483 262867
Mobile: +44 (0) 7500 857089
E-mail: dave.eden@mclaren.com

Media website: cars.mclaren.press
Facebook: www.facebook.com/mclarenautomotive
Twitter: www.twitter.com/McLarenAuto
You Tubewww.youtube.com/mclarenautomotivetv