- Reigning Pure McLaren GT Series champion Mia Flewitt takes brace of victories in the Spa-Francorchamps rounds of Pure McLaren GT
- Rookie Bendan Iribe impresses as field of 570S GT4 cars contests two thrilling races at Belgian Grand Prix venue
- Second season of Pure McLaren GT Series with four further events taking place this year
The 2019 FIA-approved Pure McLaren GT Series season headed to the iconic Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium on May 31-June 2 with a field of McLaren 570S GT4 cars competing at the Ardennes venue.
Following two practice sessions on the 7.004 km circuit, reigning Pure McLaren GT Series champion Mia Flewitt topped the 20-minute qualifying session for Saturday’s opening race. Flewitt headed motor racing journalist Ben Anderson, who was making a guest appearance in the series, by just over three tenths of a second.
In the opening race, Anderson battled Flewitt, eventually taking the lead, but received a post-race 10 second penalty for exceeding track limits, dropping him to third place. Flewitt therefore took the victory ahead of 2018 Bruce McLaren Cup champion Sultan Ojjeh, who had fought from fourth place on the grid to finish just seconds behind the winner.
Honours in the Bruce McLaren Cup class for rookie drivers fell to Brendan Iribe, who finished in fourth place overall following an intense fight with Patrice Gautier and Nick Moss.
Flewitt carried her strong form into Sunday, taking pole position for race two by a couple of tenths from an inspired Iribe. Having later converted pole into the race lead, Flewitt was kept under pressure from Iribe for much of the race, the gap never more than two seconds. With just a few laps to go the rookie sensed an opportunity to mount a challenge, but contact between the pair ended Iribe’s race, whilst Flewitt held on to take the win together with fastest lap of the weekend.
The final podium places were contested by Issam Charrouf and Ojjeh, and the latter claimed second after outfoxing his rival at the La Source hairpin. Behind them, Moss took the Bruce McLaren Cup victory, having fought from seventh on the grid to fourth overall, with Christian Buechel also impressing by finishing in seventh place after starting 14th.
The next Pure McLaren GT Series rounds will take place at the Hungaroring, home of the Hungarian Grand Prix, on June 28 to July 1.
Notes to editors:
The Pure McLaren GT Series is a prestigious one-make championship for amateur racers to enjoy their first steps in motorsport, in an environment benefiting from full McLaren support. Drivers have a dedicated driver coach and full engineering and technical support to ensure that their skills and race craft continue to develop at every round. Luxury hotels and five-star McLaren dining experiences ensure that drivers enjoy a great social scene and the championship benefits from close camaraderie both on and off the track.
Drivers race in technically identical McLaren 570S GT4 cars so that the emphasis is on driver skill.
Pure McLaren GT Series is made up of two categories: Pure McLaren GT Series (competed for by all drivers), The Bruce McLaren Cup (only open to drivers who have not held a racing licence for longer than a year and not competed in any racing higher than a club level race event).
Pure McLaren GT Series races solely on Pure McLaren weekends to guarantee a premium and exclusive environment with likeminded drivers. The 2019 calendar is:
- Round 1, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, 1 – 2 June
- Round 2, Hungaroring, Hungary, 29 – 30 June
- Round 3, Hockenheim, Germany, 31 August – 1 September
- Round 4, Silverstone, UK, 12 – 13 October
- Round 5, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 27 – 28 November