Clearwater Racing announced Friday that it will field entries in both the GT3 and GT4 classes of the Blancpain GT Series Asia for the new championship’s inaugural season.
The Singaporean team will compete with a McLaren 650S GT3 in the top class along with a McLaren 570S GT4 in the second tier of the new Asian sports car series, becoming the first Asian outfit to run the 570S GT4.
The 650S GT3 that Mok Weng Sun’s team will enter is the same car that won the 2015-16 Asian Le Mans Series GT class title, although more recently the team has competed in Asian LMS and the GT Asia Series with a Ferrari 488 GT3.
However, Clearwater recently confirmed that it would leave Asian LMS after the 2016-17 season to focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship with a Ferrari 488 GTE. With Friday’s announcement, the team has also confirmed that it will not return to the GT Asia Series.
Richard Wee and Rob Bell will take to the wheel of the 650S GT3 for all rounds apart from Suzuka, for which Bell will be replaced by Hiroki Katoh owing to the Brit’s Blancpain GT Series commitments.
The 570S GT4 is not expected to run the full season, however, and drivers have not yet been announced. It is expected that 2017 will act as a development season ahead of a fully-fledged entry in 2018.
“We are really pleased to be a part of the inaugural Blancpain GT Series Asia campaign this year,” said Clearwater Racing managing director Arj Pillay Kulasegaram.
“Clearwater Racing looks forward to much championship success with the dynamic pairing of Richard ‘Rocket’ Wee and Rob ‘Captain Picard’ Bell in our beautiful McLaren 650S GT3, which has brought us so much success in the past two seasons. We can’t wait for the action to begin!”
Added championship manager Benjamin Franassovici: “It’s absolutely fantastic to see another exceptional team joining the Blancpain GT Series Asia grid in 2017.
“Clearly Arj [Pillay Kulasegaram] isn’t afraid of a challenge given the impressive entry we’ve already been able to announce, but I have no doubt that Clearwater will be right at the front when the season starts in April.
“Rob [Bell] and the McLaren 650S GT3 is a proven package, while the 570S GT4 is an exciting addition to the class after an impressive development year in British GT.”