In December 2019, Tolman Motorsport and McLaren announced the selections for the 2020 McLaren Driver Development Programme. Four young drivers became members of the programme; Katie Milner, Michael Benyahia, Harry Hayek and Alain Valente and will form the squad for a two-car entry into the 2020 Intelligent Money British GT Championship.
The team and all four drivers were present for the launch of the new season at the Media Day, held at Snetterton on March 3. EnduranceandGT editor Andy Lloyd caught up with Katie Milner to discuss her thoughts on the new season in the premier GT domestic championship.
Katie, this is your first season in GT4 after three years competing in the Protyre Ginetta GT5 Challenge.
“Yes, three seasons in GT5 so it’s quite a big step up.”
So this must be a very exciting season for you?
“Yes, definitely and to be with a manufacturer at this stage is brilliant as well so hopefully I can keep climbing the ladder with them now.”
What is the biggest challenge for you moving from the Ginetta GT5 to the McLaren 570S GT4?
“The McLaren 570S GT4 is a totally different car to the Ginetta. Even though they’re both rear wheel drive, it’s quite a big difference to get used to so hopefully we’ve got quite a few test days so I can get up to speed quite quickly.
“Obviously driving with another driver as well – I’m not just out there on my own in a sprint race – that’s going to be different. Also having the team talking to me as well during the racing as well is completely different. There’s loads to get used to.”
Have you had much track time in the car so far?
“Not yet, no. My first day’s on Friday so we’re only doing the tracking shots today at Media Day so first full day’s on Friday (March 6).”
You’re part of the McLaren Driver Development Programme. What advantages does that give you going into this season?
“Being picked up by a manufacturer at this stage is perfect and being able to have everything around you that you need. The last couple of years we’ve really struggled for budget so I’ve not been able to have all the benefits of the sim, which I’ve got now, and the fitness. Also actually having the time to train. Hopefully it will show in our performance.”
Where have you set your targets for your first season?
“I’d like to go and win it! That’s the main aim and if we’re not in a position to do that halfway through the year – if we have a couple of bad races – then have a strong top three / top five finish at the worst and then see where next year takes us.”
The 2020 Intelligent Money British GT Championship get underway at Oulton Park over the Easter weekend of April 11 – 13.