McLaren Customer Racing GT4 teams extended the lead in two of the world’s most competitive GT4 championships over the weekend. Motorsports In Action now holds the GS-class championship lead in the Michelin PILOT Challenge after a P7 finish at Mid-Ohio, while Equipe Verschuur further strengthened its position at the top of the GT4 European Series standings following a podium and a P7 finish at Brands Hatch, UK. The 720S GT3 made its highly-anticipated US debut with customer team Compass Racing and secured a solid top-10 qualifying result before the team was forced to retire from the race early after an on-track incident.
Heading into the weekend in Mid-Ohio, GT4 customer team Motorsports In Action shared the top position in the Michelin PILOT Challenge after the second round, with the team looking to build on a solid start to the year. Drivers Corey Fergus – racing at his home circuit – and Jesse Lazare made a strong start to the weekend, qualifying the #69 570S GT4 on the front row of the grid in P2. Changeable weather conditions during the race saw a shake-up of the grid order, but the team remained in the points-paying positions bringing the car home in P7, and crucially ahead of the closest championship rivals. This result saw the Canadian-based outfit move ahead on points in the championship standings heading to round 4 at Watkins Glen.
Also on the bill in Mid-Ohio was the inaugural round of the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup where customer team Compass Racing with Factory Driver Paul Holton and teammate Matt Plumb gave the 720S GT3 its North American race debut. Plumb took the wheel in qualifying and secured P8 in class. The race saw the striking dayglo orange and grey #76 entry fighting for position within the top-10 before suffering heavy contact. This saw a drive-through penalty handed to the team who had come together with Compass Racing, but the contact ultimately led to the premature end for the debut outing of the 720S GT3.
In Europe, the #14 570S GT4 of customer team Equipe Verschuur enjoyed further success at Brands Hatch, UK after double race victory during the season-opening weekend in Monza. Racing as part of a grid with more than 30 GT4 cars, drivers Benjamin Lessennes and Daniel McKay secured a front row start for both races of the weekend, lining up P2 for Race 1 and taking pole position for Race 2. After a lengthy Safety Car period during the weekend’s opening race, the team was involved in a close battle to the flag, eventually crossing the line in P3. In Race 2, a gamble on strategy saw the team bring the car home in P7, extending the lead of the championship to 14 points. Also on the Brands Hatch grid was the #11 570S GT4 of customer team Las Moras by Equipe Verschuur which scored a double podium in the Am class to keep Lissette Braams second in the standings and firmly in the title hunt.
In China, McLaren Customer Racing team The Winning Team competed with a trio of 570S GT4s in the second meeting of the 2019 China GT Championship season at Ningbo. The team achieved its best results during the first race of the weekend, with the #570 narrowly missing out on a podium place in P4, while McLaren Young Professional Charlie Fagg and teammate James Cal took P6. In the second race, all three of its challengers finished in the top 10.