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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Pro Lineup for McLaren 720S GT3’s Bathurst 12H Debut

59 Racing entry to compete in Pro class at Bathurst with two factory drivers in the lineup…

Photo: 59 Racing

A Pro-class lineup has been confirmed for the McLaren 720s GT3’s maiden Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour appearance next month.

The car, entered by 59 Racing, will be driven by McLaren Automotive factory drivers Alvaro Parente and Ben Barnicoat, as well as former BMW racer Tom Blomqvist.

Parente won the Australian enduro in 2016, sharing a McLaren 650S GT3 with Shane van Gisbergen and Jonathon Webb, while both Barnicoat and Blomqvist are set to make their Bathurst race debuts.

As well as being the first outing for the 720S GT3 in the 12 Hour, it will also mark the first time that McLaren’s newest racing model appears in the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli.

The 59 Racing team that is running the car at Bathurst was formed last year and spent its inaugural season in the Australian GT Championship.

Its 720S GT3 will sport the No. 59 badge for the event, which takes place on Feb. 2.

“The number 59 has a rich history for McLaren and it’s important to retain the legacy of the 1995 Le Mans win through motorsport and with the McLaren marque,” said a team spokesperson.

“The team has come a long way in the past 12 months and with some very experienced personnel on board for Bathurst, we look forward to the next challenge.”

The 59 Racing entry is not to be confused with the similarly-named former McLaren outfit Garage 59, which is set to run an Aston Martin Vantage GT3 in the Silver Cup ranks.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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