Warwickshire-based Tolman Motorsport, who finished second in the 2019 British GT Championship GT4 Teams standings, has announced that it will continue to develop the McLaren Driver Development Programme in 2020, now in its third season.
The team will enter two McLaren 570S GT4s in the 2020 British GT Championship to be driven by Katie Milner, Michael Benyahia, Harry Hayek and Alain Valente.
Following a two-day assessment, the quartet of young drivers were announced on Thursday December 5.
Katie Milner began her circuit-racing career in the 2015 Junior Saloon Car Championship and, for the past three seasons, has competed in the Protyre Ginetta GT5 Challenge. Milner won the Junior Saloon Car title in 2016 and was the first female driver to win the championship, qualify on pole, win a race and get lap record.
19-year-old Michael Benyahia graduated from karts in 2014 and moved into GT racing in 2019, competing in the ADAC GT4 Germany series and the GT4 European Series, both in the Team GT McLaren 570S GT4.
Australian Harry Hayek competed in domestic series in 2019, finishing eighth in the CAMS Payce Australian Formula 4 Championship. The 21-year-old also competed in the Toyota 86 Racing Series Australia championship. Hayek was involved in a serious accident but fought back to rejoin the grid in 2019, earning a podium finish on his return to competition.
Alain Valente, from Switzerland, has had previous experience in the McLaren 570S GT4, having joined Benyahia at Team GT in the ADAC GT4 Germany series, Valente partnering with Felix von der Laden in the #94 car.
“I’m delighted to continue with the McLaren Automotive Driver Development Programme for a third season,” said Team Owner Christopher Tolman. “The caliber of the drivers continues to grow and expand around the globe, and Tolman Motorsport will do its utmost to give these young talents the best possible chance of success with the exceptional McLaren 570S GT4.”
Drive team Leader at McLaren Automotive Danny Buxton is looking forward to the new season.
“The Driver Development Programme is an extremely important part of the motorsport landscape at McLaren Automotive and it’s becoming stronger with each season. This year’s group of shortlisted drivers was the largest we have ever assessed, and it was a truly global mix, which is great to see. They were also the strongest selection we’ve ever seen, and the decision for the final four was extremely difficult.”
The 2020 British GT Championship opens at Oulton Park on April 11 – 13.