Tom Gamble joins Rob Bell and Marvin Kirchhöfer as McLaren Factory Driver
New McLaren Junior Pro Driver category for promising young GT drivers; Benjamin Goethe and Nicolai Kjærgaard are inaugural signings
Aston Millar joins McLaren Motorsport as a McLaren Academy Driver
McLaren Motorsport has confirmed a renewed driver line-up with four new drivers joining for the 2023 season, which incorporates new Junior Pro Driver and Academy programmes designed to mature promising young GT drivers.
Heading the 2023 line-up will be long-standing McLaren driver Rob Bell, and he now steps up to a more senior position within the Factory Driver team. His participation with McLaren includes winning the 2016 Blancpain GT Series Endurance championship. Rob’s extensive roles within McLaren have also included racing the 720S GT3 in its inaugural British GT Championship campaign as well as the test and development programme for the new Artura GT4 and Artura Trophy race cars.
Also retained is Germany’s Marvin Kirchhöfer. The 28-year-old raced with customer teams Garage 59 and Jota in his inaugural season with McLaren last year, the highlight of which was second place in the British GT Championship’s Silverstone 500 race.
Joining the pair will be Briton Tom Gamble. The 21-year-old has established a competitive career in sportscar and GT racing with United Autosports, and in 2020 was crowned LMP3 champion in the European Le Mans Series. Prior to this he won the 2018 Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award and has competed in Asian Le Mans Series, Le Mans Cup, British GT, GT World Challenge, IMSA Sportscar Championship LMP3 and GTD classes.
In addition to the three McLaren Factory Drivers, a new McLaren Junior Pro Driver category has been established for 2023. Two promising young drivers have joined the programme with a view to becoming established GT competitors under the tutelage of the Factory Drivers.
Part of this new initiative will be Benjamin Goethe. The 19-year-old holds dual German and Danish nationalities and has raced in GT categories since 2019. Runner-up in the 2021 24H GT Series – GT3 Pro class, he was GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup – Silver champion in 2022, also placing third in the GT World Challenge Sprint Cup Silver class. In addition, Benjamin has competed in the Intercontinental GT Challenge, ADAC GT Masters and Le Mans Cup GT class.
Nicolai Kjærgaard also joins the programme after a successful season racing a Garage 59 McLaren 720S GT3 in GT World Challenge Europe that yielded pole positions and podium finishes. The 23-year-old Dane, a runner-up in the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship, made his GT racing debut in 2020.
British driver Aston Millar will become a McLaren Academy Driver. The 18-year-old placed third in last year’s Ginetta GT Supercup in the UK, having graduated as the reigning Ginetta Junior champion and will continue his GT racing development with McLaren.
“I’m delighted to welcome Tom, Benjamin, Nicolai and Aston to the McLaren family. Tom has proven to be a formidable sportscar and GT racer and will fit in well with Rob and Marvin in our Factory Driver line-up. Marvin has settled in well with a strong 2022 season and I’m pleased that we were able to retain him again for 2023. Rob’s tenacity and experience has been invaluable in developing the new Artura GT4 and Artura Trophy race cars, which we have recognised by asking him to take on a more senior position within our Factory Driver team this year. Benjamin, Nicolai and Aston are exciting future prospects and we are really looking forward to seeing how they progress through 2023.”
Ian Morgan, Director of Motorsport, McLaren Automotive
Image: Rob Bell heads up the 2023 McLaren Motorsport driver line-up