McLaren GT has announced today at the Autosport International show the formation of the McLaren GT Driver Academy. Alex Fontana (23) from Switzerland and Jersey-born Struan Moore (20) join Northern Irish 2015 McLaren GT Young Driver Andrew Watson (20). All three drivers already hold a wide variety of single seat and GT experience, and the Driver Academy will see them work closely with the team at McLaren GT, including Factory Drivers Rob Bell, Alvaro Parente and Bruno Senna, as they look to establish a successful career in competitive global GT racing.
Following the successful debut season of the Young Driver Programme which saw Andrew Watson and Ross Wylie gain valuable experience both on track with customer teams and at the Woking factory throughout last season, the programme has evolved in to a wider reaching Academy designed to offer greater benefits to a larger pool of drivers who hold a range of different on-track experience. It will expand the successful platform already in place, and build on the strong foundations of the 2015 season which saw the Young Drivers secure seven top-six finishes, including one win for Watson in the International GT Open championship. The win was one of 24 secured by McLaren GT customer teams with the 650S GT3 in its debut competitive season.
Andrew Kirkaldy, Managing Director, McLaren GT
‘The McLaren GT Driver Academy is a natural evolution of the Young Driver Programme which proved extremely successful in its debut season in 2015. We are seeing that the GT grids are becoming among the most competitive in the world, and they are attracting the best of the best through all categories. The appeal of the various global GT3 championships is becoming greater, and the drivers are younger and more committed than ever. Despite being young, we are increasingly seeing drivers moving from single seaters with a wealth of experience and a very high level of skill who are hungry for a new challenge. The new Driver Academy will be tailored to this greater level of experience, and look to help enhance the talents and provide a more complete understanding of how to manage and progress with a successful GT career.’
Further details of the McLaren GT Driver Academy and the schedule for the 2016 season will be announced in the coming weeks.
This article first appeared on http://cars.mclaren.press/en-gb/releases/334#gallery