K-PAX Racing has confirmed that newly named McLaren GT factory driver Jonny Kane, Academy driver Ben Barnicoat and rising American star Michael Lewis will complete the team’s lineup for the Pirelli World Challenge SprintX races.
While Kane and Barnicoat’s placement in the Nos. 6 and 9 McLaren 650S GT3 alongside full-season drivers Alvaro Parente and Bryan Sellers has yet to be determined, Lewis will team with Mike Hedlund in the No. 98 McLaren for Pro-Am class honors.
“We brought a strong lineup to defend our GT championship, now we are prepared to fight for the SprintX Championship as well,” said program manager Darren Law.
“McLaren GT has provided us excellent support, and it strengthens our efforts to see that support flow into our SprintX program with Ben and Jonny.
“Michael has proven himself over the years and has always been a class act, and we are also proud to welcome him on board.”
Kane joins the McLaren GT fold through Strakka Racing, which will campaign four 650S GT3s in the Blancpain GT Series this year.
The Irishman will supplement his Blancpain GT program with the five-round SprintX effort.
“I always enjoy racing in the United States,” Kane said. “The tracks are great to drive and very challenging, and the American race fans are some of the best in the world.
“Hopefully we can carry on the momentum from the fantastic season they had in 2016. I can’t wait to get started.”
20-year-old Barnicoat is a relative newcomer to sports car racing, with the open-wheel ace having made his debut with Belgian Audi Club Team WRT in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup last year.
“After seeing the great success that the team had with Alvaro Parente in the series last year, I see this as a great opportunity for me to be joining the team,” he said.
“It has always been an ambition of mine to be able to race in America, so I have to say a huge thank you to all at K-PAX and McLaren GT for this opportunity.”
Lewis, meanwhile, is a race-winner in PWC, having split the 2016 season in Porsche 911 GT3 Rs entered by EFFORT Racing and Calvert Dynamics.
He teamed with Preston Calvert to sweep the SprintX weekend at Utah Motorsports Campus in August.
“Teaming up with Mike Hedlund is an honor, as he has much experience driving GT cars,” Lewis said. “I look forward to racing alongside Mike, and the other great drivers on this team, in the McLaren 650S.”
The team is coming off a strong opening Sprint weekend at St. Pete, which saw Parente score victory in Race 1 and Hedlund claim a podium finish in GTA.