Andretti Autosport’s new Pirelli GT4 America program will utilize the “shared resources” of the entire organization, as the championship-winning team makes its return to top-level sports car racing.
Announced last week, the Indianapolis-based operation will enter a McLaren 570S GT4 for Jarett Andretti, who steps up from his rookie season of TCR competition.
The 26-year-old, son of NASCAR veteran John Andretti, will compete in the GT4 America Sprint rounds of the new-look SRO Motorsports America championship, formerly known as Pirelli World Challenge, which will feature 50-minute single-driver races.
While the team has links to McLaren through its Walkenshaw-Andretti-United alliance, in United Autosports co-owner and McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown, Andretti Autosport COO Rob Edwards says there were a number of reasons in going with the mid-engined sports car.
“In reality it is John and Jarrett’s program and they put it together so there were lots of reasons they had too for going with McLaren besides what might be the obvious ones,” Edwards told Sportscar365.
“It will be run out of our shop in Indianapolis alongside the Indycars and Indy Lights cars and so on. John and Jarrett have hired Robin Pemberton so he will manage the program for them.
“But it will fall under the umbrella of the rest of the programs so it all will have the shared resources that all the other programs enjoy in terms of engineering and work shop support.”
While marking its first sports car program since the factory Acura LMP2 American Le Mans Series operation in 2008, Edwards said the team is keen to expand in the arena, alongside its established IndyCar, Indy Lights, ABB FIA Formula E and Americas Rallycross programs.
Andretti Autosport is known to have pursued multiple factory-backed prototype and GT opportunities in recent years and has provided logistical support for United Autosport’s IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup program last year.
“We are always discussing future programs with a whole bunch of people,” Edwards said. “We definitely like to be in sports cars in some shape or form.
“Andretti have a good history in this discipline so I’d say it is a key interest area and the company is very motivated to pursue future programs should the circumstances and hardware be attractive enough.”
Sam Smith contributed to this report