With an eye towards competing in next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, Matt McMurry will get his first taste of a Le Mans-style prototype next week when he takes part in a test in Performance Tech’s Prototype Challenge entry.
The 16-year-old rising star, son of American Le Mans Series driver Chris McMurry, will take the wheel of the Florida-based squad’s Oreca FLM09 in a test at Palm Beach International Raceway on Dec. 7.
McMurry, who has quickly moved through the Skip Barber and USF2000 ranks, made his IMSA Prototype Lites debut earlier this year and completed the final six races with Performance Tech. He’s expected to become the youngest-ever driver in a PC car.
“I’ve been working toward this for a long time,” McMurry said. “In just the last couple of years I’ve logged over 20,000 race and test miles in single-seaters, sedans and junior prototypes, and run in more than 60 races in the U.S. and Canada. It’s an honor to have this opportunity.”
McMurry has been working with former ALMS driver and Mazda ladder graduate, Gerardo Bonilla, as a driver coach. “We know exactly what we’ll see, since we’ve seen the same pattern from Matt every time he’s moved up to a bigger, faster car,” Bonilla said.
Performance Tech are no strangers to helping up-and-coming drivers transition into professional sports car racing, which most recently included Tristan Nunez, who became the youngest winner in ALMS history.
“There are a few young people out there who demonstrate through the attitude and performance that shows they can go to the next level confidently, and we really enjoy being part of their evolution,” said Performance Tech team owner Brent O’Neill.
McMurry is hoping to make his Le Mans debut next year, which could put him as the youngest starter in the race’s 80-plus year history.