McLaren Automotive has confirmed a multi-year agreement with IMSA – the International Motor Sports Association – which will see customer teams racing as part of the US- and Canada-based IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup season in 2019, and McLaren officially entered as a manufacturer for the largest GT3 championship in the US market. This announcement comes as McLaren customer team Compass Racing unveils the striking new livery for its 2019 challenger, in the form of the McLaren 720S GT3 which will contest the newly-launched Sprint Cup championship this season.
Customer team Compass Racing will roll out with the 720S GT3 for the first time at the inaugural round of the Sprint Cup at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course next month, running in the highly-competitive GT Daytona (GTD) class. Driving responsibilities for the North American competitive debut of the 720S GT3 lie with McLaren Factory Driver Paul Holton and Matt Plumb, with the pair contesting all seven rounds of the 2019 Sprint Cup season.
Compass Racing has enjoyed significant success in the IMSA championships over the years, scoring 30 race wins and 44 further podiums, having contested an IMSA championship for the past 16 consecutive seasons. The team has also tasted victory with McLaren with the 570S GT4 over the past couple of seasons, and most recently took the first McLaren victory at the famous Daytona International Speedway during the IMSA Michelin PILOT Challenge race event. Holton was joined by fellow Factory Driver Kuno Wittmer at the wheel of the 570S GT4 for that historic result. Following a double podium finish at the opening two rounds of the IMSA Michelin PILOT Challenge in Daytona and Sebring, McLaren customer team Motorsports In Action currently leads the championship. Both teams will be back in GT4 action in Mid-Ohio.
IMSA is the premier sanctioning body for sports car competition in North America, of which the WeatherTech Championship is the flagship series of the organisation. Newly launched for the 2019 season is the WeatherTech Sprint Cup which supports the full endurance series, and is a seven-race championship open to GTD class competitors. Following the opening round in Mid-Ohio, the championship will visit Detroit’s Belle Island Park, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Lime Rock Park, Road America, VIRginia International Raceway, and the season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
“The popularity of GT3 racing in North America has dramatically grown over recent seasons and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is one of the most competitive GT series in the world. With the North American market the largest for McLaren Automotive, it is great to have customer teams racing with the 720S GT3 in such an exciting and well-supported championship; we are proud to partner with IMSA and having McLaren cars competing in the GTD class from 2019 is an important and significant moment for McLaren Customer Racing.”
Dan Walmsley, Motorsport Director, McLaren Automotive.
The 720S GT3 will make its North American debut at the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, in Lexington, Ohio. The event takes place 3-5 May.
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 three defined product families: Sports Series, Super Series and Ultimate Series which are retailed through over 80 retailers in 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.
2017 saw the company launch further models including the second-generation Super Series, the 570S Spider and the McLaren Senna. 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. In 2019 the 600LT Spider was 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 and technology. These include AkzoNobel, OnePlus, Pirelli and Richard Mille.
The McLaren Group is a global leader in luxury automotive and technology and comprises three businesses: Automotive, Racing and Applied Technologies.
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Date Posted: April 22, 2019