McLaren Automotive has signed Euan Hankey as a full factory GT driver while also confirming Ollie Wilkinson as a ‘Factory Professional’.
Hankey, 32, joins McLaren’s works driver lineup having been associated with the brand for the last seven years as a driving instructor and coach.
The 2017 European Le Mans Series runner-up’s recent motorsport activities include drives in the FIA World Endurance Championship and Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup.
Wilkinson, meanwhile, becomes a Factory Professional which is effectively the second-highest stage of McLaren’s driver system below full works status.
The British racer finished sixth in this year’s British GT3 overall standings in an Aston Martin Vantage GT3 and wrapped up the Silver class title with Bradley Ellis.
Wilkinson’s 2019 campaign also included a part-season drive with his British GT team Optimum Motorsport in the International GT Open series.
McLaren Automotive has yet to confirm its full 2020 factory driver roster, which in 2019 was composed of Alvaro Parente, Kuno Wittmer, Michael Cooper, Ben Barnicoat, Paul Holton, Rob Bell and Joe Osborne.
New Rung Added to Works Ladder
In addition to new roles for Hankey and Wilkinson, McLaren has expanded its now four-step talent development program with the introduction of an Academy Driver role.
The new classification will sit above McLaren’s Driver Development Program which currently consists of four young competitors who were selected earlier this month.
Academy status will be granted to those who progress from the DDP and will also act as a step for drivers more senior than those in the youth scheme.
Jordan Collard and Lewis Proctor, who were both a part of the DDP this year, have been promoted to Academy Driver status for 2020.
The next tier is Factory Professional, for drivers who have already started professional careers, while factory drivers are the lead members of McLaren’s GT racing and development operation.