After three seasons fielding a diverse group of cars in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, long-time IMSA competitor C360R announced today the launch of its new two-car McLaren GS program for 2017.
With the unveiling of this effort, the team becomes the second to publicly announce the introduction of McLaren’s new 570S GT4 car to the series.
“We are beyond thrilled to release details of a program that has been in the works for some time,” said team principal Karl Thomson.
“I first visited the McLaren Automotive factory and their McLaren GT facility in June of 2015, and was immediately impressed with the quality of the incredible cars being built there.
“Over the following months we kept in touch, and when they launched their new GT4 car earlier this year, it was a natural fit for our team.”
IMSA’s technical department has spent the past year analyzing the globally-recognized SRO GT4 homologation, and announced earlier in the season its adoption as the future of the GS class.
This brings the series in line with a number of sanctioning bodies and series around the world that recognize GT4.
“After working last year with Ford on the GS Mustang program, it was clear to everyone that GT4 was the logical next step,” said technical director Ray Lee.
“We really enjoyed working with the guys at Ford Performance and Multimatic Motorsports, who were great partners all season long.
“It was amazing to be part of that factory program and to have Ford win the Manufacturer’s Championship last year. We’re keen to see our McLarens compete with their new GT4 Mustang.”
Prior to the 2016 Mustang effort, the team ran a Subaru WRX STi in GS for two seasons (2014/15), with a podium finish at Road America being its best result.
It also fielded an Audi R8 LMS in the GTD category in 2015, giving C360R valuable insight on the operation of a top-level GT3-style car and helping Audi take second place in the Manufacturer’s Championship.
“We’re very pleased to welcome a team of C360R’s stature to the McLaren family,” noted McLaren GT Managing Director Andrew Kirkaldy.
“They’ve had great success over many years in IMSA, and we look forward to working together with them to continue that legacy.”
Long-time IMSA competitor Matt Plumb will be paired with Paul Holton, who returns for his third year with the squad, in the No.76 AlphaClone McLaren.
The team’s second McLaren, No.77, will be helmed by race-winning Ferrari Challenge driver Mathew Keegan and Nico Rondet with support from technical partner AERO Advanced Paint Technology, who return for their third season.
The liveries of both McLarens will be rendered using AERO’s proprietary paint technology.
The two-car McLaren program is in addition to the team’s previously confirmed return to the ST class with an Audi S3.