Track-club will return to the British GT Championship for the first time since 2015 this season after signing Adam Balon and Adam Mackay to race its new McLaren 570S GT4.
The Cambridgeshire-based squad has made sporadic appearances in the past, most recently entering a Lotus Evora GT4 at Spa-Francorchamps in July 2015, but this will be the first time it has committed to a full season in the championship.
Its junior national GT CV is second to none thanks to four MSA Lotus Cup titles and multiple Aston Martin GT4 Challenge wins. And that quality extends to its British GT driver line-up, which mixes youth and experience, as well as recent championship-winning pedigree.
Balon, whose only previous British GT appearance came with track-club (then known as track-group) at Spa two years ago, has competed with the team in various categories since 2014, including last season when together they finished third in the MSA Lotus Cup Supersport Championship.
Meanwhile, Balon’s co-driver Mackay – a former Scottish Formula Ford title winner – makes his British GT debut as the reigning Lotus Cup Supersport champion.
The 19-year-old has also been part of Ecurie Ecosse’s Young Driver Programme, whose other members Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell gave the McLaren 570S GT4 its maiden British GT victory last season.
But despite winning two titles in as many seasons, Mackay isn’t underestimating the challenge British GT poses.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to race with Adam in 2017,” he said. “Adam and I competed against each other in Lotus Cup UK last season and alongside each other at the Creventic Silverstone 24 Hours in April, so we’ve built a strong and understanding relationship over the course of 2016.
“He’s a great team player and a fast learner so I think it’s going to be amazing. However, we will both be rookies at this level of competition and so I feel it is important to have a lot of respect for our competitors and the strength of the field.”
Team boss Stephen Docherty believes Balon and Mackay’s year spent as Lotus team-mates could give them the edge over other new crews.
“As a team they work well together – they spent the season competing against each other in a Lotus but, within the same team, from the outset they were sharing data and working on finding pace,” he said.
Track-club’s McLaren is the second such car confirmed for British GT in 2017, following Tolman Motorsport’s announcement of running a 570S GT4 driven by Joe Osborne and David Pattison in November.