Polish outfit JP Motorsport has announced plans to contest three of this year’s DTM meetings with a McLaren 720S GT3 driven by ex-Formula 1 driver Christian Klien.
JP Motorsport arrived on the sports car racing scene in 2020, running a Mercedes-AMG GT3 in International GT Open for Klien and team owner Patryk Krupinski, but has switched to McLaren machinery for its second year of operation.
Former Jaguar and Red Bull Racing F1 driver Klien, 38, is set for his maiden appearance in the revamped DTM which has switched to FIA GT3 machinery for the 2021 season.
The Austrian will enter the Zolder and Nürburgring rounds in August, and Assen in September. JP Motorsport is looking to embark on a full-season campaign next year.
Team owner Krupinski explained that Mercedes-AMG’s move to provide factory support to entries from Winward Racing, GruppeM Racing and Haupt Racing Team prompted the independent JP Motorsport squad to introduce a McLaren for its DTM exploration.
It will also run the car full-time in GT Open, which like the DTM uses Michelin tires, and in select rounds of Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS.
“We can hardly wait for the first races with the McLaren and are very excited about its performance, which has already impressed us as a competitor in the International GT Open,” said Krupinski.
“The Mercedes-AMG is in itself a good, robust product. But the significantly stronger factory support to other Mercedes teams in the DTM would have been an immense disadvantage for us, which means top results get a long way off racing another, unbacked AMG GT3.
“Instead, we expect a lot from McLaren as a partner and we are sure that we can really heat up some established competitors with our package and good co-operation.”
Klien and Krupinski were already confirmed to run the full GT Open season in JP Motorsport’s Mercedes-AMG, but will now do so in the McLaren.
The team’s GTWC Europe program so far consists of an entry into the Paul Ricard 1000km enduro involving Klien, Krupinski and Lamborghini Super Trofeo ace Karol Basz.
Last year Klien and Krupinski contested the Total 24 Hours of Spa with Mathias Lauda and Jens Liebhauser, in addition to their race-winning GT Open effort.
“I’m really looking forward to the challenging season that lies ahead,” commented Klien.
“The DTM races will be the absolute highlight for me this year. There we can compete with the best teams and drivers in GT3 racing and show what we are capable of.
“With McLaren we have found an excellent partner for this and we are very much looking forward to work with this renowned manufacturer.”