McLaren Confirms Multi-Year Deal with IMSA Sportscar Championship

AutoInformed.com on McClaren IMSA Sponsorship

A storied English brand that is currently getting its fannie kicked in F1 is doing better in sports car racing and planning a return to Indianapolis.

McLaren Automotive says it 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.

McLaren is officially entered as a manufacturer for the largest GT3 championship in the US market. This announcement comes as McLaren customer team Compass Racing unveils new paint for its 2019 challenger, in the form of the McLaren 720S GT3 which will contest the newly-launched Sprint Cup championship this season. 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.

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 past IMSA championships, scoring 30 race wins and 44 further podiums. It has contested an IMSA championship for the past 16 consecutive seasons. The team won with a McLaren 570S GT4 during the past couple of seasons, and most recently took the first McLaren victory at the 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 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 sanctioning body for sports car competition in North America, of which the WeatherTech Championship is claimed to be the flagship series. 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… 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,” opined Dan Walmsley, Motorsport Director, McLaren Automotive.

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About Kenneth Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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