With the inaugural FIA GT World Cup fast approaching at the iconic Guia Circuit in Macau, McLaren GT has revealed that Kevin Estre will join the Asian-based FFF Racing Team by ACM operation for the demanding event.
Estre joins fellow factory driver Alvaro Parente and Andre Couto at the wheel of the team’s three McLaren 650S GT3 cars for the event.
The three experienced campaigners, will form arguably the strongest combination in the field against an entry list that includes some of the best GT3 drivers in the world.
Debuting earlier this year as part of the six-event GT Asia Series program, the FFF team were winners after just their third start with Tonio Liuzzi and experienced GT3 campaigner Hiroshi Hamaguchi sharing driving duties.
Just a month ago they concluded their debut season in the region’s leading GT series with another podium shared between Hamaguchi and factory star Parente, laying the foundations for what promises to be a strong debut at Macau.
Parente will be making his third start at Macau, but his first in a GT car, whilst local hero Couto is the only Macanese driver to have ever claimed victory in the hotly contested Formula 3 Grand Prix, the 38-year old the veteran of more than a dozen starts in Formula 3 and Touring Cars around his home circuit.
Couto is also likely to be the new Japanese SuperGT GT300 champion heading into the Macau event, with the Nissan GT3 driver comfortably leading the points heading into the final round of the season just a week out from Macau.
As the final member of the team, Estre is no stranger to the McLaren GT, and perhaps the most decorated of the three drivers in the F1-inspired supercar, having taken the new 650S GT3 to victories in both the Blancpain Endurance Series in Europe and Pirelli World Challenge.
Macau will be the Frenchman’s debut on the challenging 22-turn Guia Circuit, but he will have plenty of experience to draw from sharing data with Couto and McLaren GT factory team-mate Parente.
“We are very honored to have been given the opportunity to represent McLaren GT in Macau, and I think from the pace of the MP4-12C at Macau in past years, and our pace in GT Asia this year, we will have three cars capable of competing for the win,” team principal Andrea Caldarelli said.
“Andre and Alvaro have past experience at Macau, and both have already competed with our team this year, whilst Kevin is McLaren’s most successful driver this year, and that will be a big advantage with such limited practice available during the event. ”