McLaren has signed an agreement to become a fully recognized manufacturer in IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The multi-year contract will see the first McLaren 720S GT3, entered by customer team Compass Racing, debut next month in IMSA’s GT Daytona class at Mid-Ohio, where it will become the ninth brand to compete in the category.
“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,” said McLaren Automotive Motorsport Director Dan Walmsley. “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.”
Already present in IMSA’s second-tier Michelin Pilot Challenge series, McLaren’s addition to the WeatherTech Championship brings GTD close to having every major GT3 manufacturer in play.
“We are honored and humbled that McLaren has chosen our race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course as the venue for the North American debut of the 720S GT3 race car,” said IMSA President Scott Atherton. “It’s fantastic to see McLaren doubling down on its commitment by bringing this program onto one of our biggest stages. It also reaffirms that IMSA’s platforms continue to provide an unmatched ROI and an attractive target-rich environment for manufacturers and their customer racing programs.”
The compass McLaren 720S GT3 will enter IMSA’s new GTD Sprint Cup, a championship-within-a-championship, comprised of seven rounds for teams wishing to skip the four enduros on the calendar.
“We’re honored and excited to formally announce our GTD McLaren program with the new 720S GT3,” said Compass Racing Team Principal Karl Thomson. “The new WeatherTech Sprint Cup is a logical next step for our IMSA effort, which celebrates its sixteenth-consecutive season this year. We’ve been very successful in the Michelin Pilot Challenge, but know how hard-fought the battles are in GTD and are looking forward to the challenge.”