The McLaren 720S GT3 scored pole position and a triple podium on its International GT Open debut at Circuit Paul Ricard in southern France, as McLaren Customer Racing team Teo Martin Motorsport started its 2019 campaign. The team also took part in the new-for-2019 GT Open Cup Europe with a pair of 570S GT4s and claimed two Silver class wins.
The first of two International GT Open races at Circuit Paul Ricard saw the 720S GT3 secure pole position, with Allam Khodair at the wheel of the #16 Pro-Am entry. The 70-minute race then saw McLaren Young Professional drivers Martin Kodrić and Fran Rueda perform strongly in the #59 and #17 cars respectively, quick work during the pitstops moving them both up the order to challenge for the lead. As the chequered flag dropped, Kodrić and teammate Henrique Chaves took P2, while Rueda and teammate Andrés Saravia followed them home less than two seconds behind in P3. Pole-sitter Khodair and teammate Marcelo Hahn took a P2 podium finish and P7 overall in the Pro-Am class, and P7 overall.
In the GT Open Cup Europe races, Teo Martin Motorsport also entered two 570S GT4s. Both secured top-10 finishes against a strong grid, with the #7 570S GT4 of Marc De Fulgencio and Thiago Vivacqua achieving the best result of the weekend for the team, finishing P5 in Race 1 and taking overall honours in the Silver class.
In the USA, track activity for the 570S GT4 saw McLaren Automotive Factory Driver Michael Cooper enjoy a strong weekend racing at VIRginia International Raceway. The young American scored a Pro category class win and a further class podium at the wheel of the #10 Black Dog Speed Shop entry during the two Pirelli GT4 America sprint races at the challenging 5.2 km circuit near Alton, Virginia.
In the first race, Cooper climbed from P6 to P2 during the 50-minute encounter, defending well and holding off the chasing pack in the closing stages to finish P2 overall and P1 in class. McLaren Customer Racing team Andretti Autosport took P5 overall and secured the second step of the podium in the Am class. Race 2 saw the #10 Black Dog Speed Shop entry of Cooper start P8. Again, he wasted no time in challenging the cars ahead and by the chequered flag, he had moved up the order up to P4 overall and P3 in the Pro category. This result extends Cooper’s streak of class podium finishes to three and moves him to P3 in the Drivers’ Championship standings, just 11 points off the leader.
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