Customer team Equipe Verschuur secures double race win at opening round of GT4 European Series, in Monza, Italy
McLaren Young Professional driver Charlie Fagg on pole position for first race
McLaren Factory Driver Michael Cooper takes GT4 America Series podium in Long Beach; Andretti Autosport claims Am class podium
A strong weekend for the McLaren 570S GT4 resulted in silverware for customer teams in both Europe and North America. The opening round of the GT4 European Series visited Monza, Italy where customer teams Equipe Verschuur and Team GT respectively secured a double race win and further podium; while in the GT4 America Sprint series, customer teams Black Dog Speed Shop and Andretti Autosport both achieved podium finishes on the streets of Long Beach, California.
McLaren Young Driver Charlie Fagg took the first accolade of the weekend, as he secured pole position with customer team, Team GT, for the season’s first race. A McLaren front-row lock-out saw 19-year old Fagg line up alongside the Equipe Verschuur entry, which took the lead of the race on the opening lap. From here, Safety Car periods kept the 36-car field closely packed around the 5.793km circuit, but Equipe Verschuur and Team GT remained in the chase for the lead throughout. A strong performance by both teams in the second half of the race saw McLaren customer cars reclaim P1 and P2 and battle each other for the overall lead. Fagg’s teammate Michael Benyahia led the field in the closing laps, but a third Safety Car period set up one final opportunity and a late change to the order saw Equipe Verschuur take the race lead, securing a strong 1-2 finish for the McLaren 570S GT4.
Heavy rain saw the weekend’s second race start behind the Safety Car, with Team GT and Equipe Verschuur again lining up alongside each other, this time on the second row of the grid. TheEquipe Verschuur car took an early opportunity and despite heavy spray, was able to move up the order to take the race lead. With a clear track ahead, the team managed the gap to the chasing pack, only dropping to P2 after a routine pitstop for fuel and tyres. The lead was regained shortly after, and Equipe Verschuur secured a second win of the weekend.
In the United States, four McLaren 570S GT4s lined up for the GT4 America Sprint championship meeting in Long Beach, California. The high-profile event ran in support of the annual IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship and IndyCar double-header at the world-famous street circuit, and saw further success for McLaren Customer Racing teams, with two podium finishes.
McLaren Factory Driver Michael Cooper moved up the order from P7 on the grid to the podium positions on the first lap, but his charge through the field was halted after a prolonged Safety Car period. On the restart, Cooper pushed the leading pair but was unable to find a way past, and crossed the line to take the final podium spot for customer team Black Dog Speed Shop. In the Am class, customer team Andretti Autosport enjoyed a strong weekend, taking further silverware with a podium, crossing the line P2 in class, and P7 overall.