Grantham-based Balfe Motorsport has announced that it will campaign a new McLaren 720S GT3 in the 2019 British GT Championship with the 2018 driver line-up of Shaun Balfe and McLaren factory driver Rob Bell returning for a second season together.
The McLaren 720S GT3 is the first GT model designed and built in-house by McLaren Customer Racing at its Woking factory.
The announcement means that Balfe Motorsport’s GT3 entry will join its already announced McLaren 570S GT4 entry, to be driven by Graham Johnson and Michael O’Brien.
Shaun Balfe, son of Team Co-Owner David Balfe, is excited about the prospects for the 2019 domestic season.
“It;s a great feeling knowing Balfe Motorsport is continuing our relationship with McLaren during these exciting times,” said Shaun Balfe. “I’ve felt close to the 720S GT3 project from the beginning. McLaren kept me updated through its development stages during 2018 and I felt privileged to be one of the first customers to take part in Portimão last September.”
“For me the car has great track presence and it is a significant step up from the 650S GT3 with which Balfe Motorsport and I, with Rob by my side, enjoyed great success. The 720S GT3 had a strong competitive debut at the Gulf 12 Hours which bodes well for us. I’m very excited for the 2019 season and looking forward to the journey ahead.”
McLaren factory driver Rob Bell is also looking forward to competing with McLaren’s latest racing variant in 2019.
“The development programme for the car has been intense, testing throughout Europe and the Middle East in a variety of conditions, and I have been really impressed with the results we have achieved,” said Rob Bell. “I feel the team and the car are in a strong position to challenge from the first round.”
The first public outing for Balfe Motorsport’s McLaren 720S GT3 will be at the opening round of the 2019 British GT Championship at Oulton Park on April 20 – 22 as the team will not receive the new car in time for the pre-season Media Day on March 5.