McLaren factory driver Alvaro Parente is et to compete in this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship with Ram Racing, it was announced Tuesday.
The 29-year-old Portuguese driver will join Matt Griffin in the team’s No. 52 Ferrari F458 Italia GT in GTE-Pro, as part of the team’s new two-car attack in the FIA WEC.
“We really chuffed to have come to an agreement with both Alvaro and McLaren,” said team principal Dan Shufflebottom. “To have someone of his caliber alongside Matt, who we know can deliver the goods from his Championship-winning ELMS season last year, is a major boost to our chances of success.
“We are the only non-factory entry in the GTE Pro category but that’s not going to stop our ambitions for success in any way, shape or form. We think the Parente-Griffin partnership will be right up there alongside our competitors.”
Parente, the former British F3 and World Series by Renault driver, has competed for McLaren in the GT ranks over the past two seasons, most recently for Sebastien Loeb Racing in the FIA GT Series.
His 2014 program with the British manufacturer has yet to be announced.
“The World Endurance Championship is a strong competition that is growing and where you can find strong teams and drivers,” Parente said. “Ram Racing won the 2013 ELMS GTE championship and I can feel it’s an ambitious team with the will to succeed.
“Matt is a very good racing driver, so I think we have all the right ingredients to fight for good results during the season. As always, I’ll do my best and I hope to justify the confidence that Ram Racing showed in me. I also would like to thank McLaren GT for allowing me to tackle this new challenge.”
Ram’s other Ferrari entry, which will compete in GTE-Am, will be driven by Johnny Mowlem and Ben Collins, with Mark Patterson joining them for four of the eight rounds.