David Foster and Bradley Ellis win 570S Trophy title after tense finale in Barcelona
Gonzalo de Andres and Tomas Pintos win the inaugural McLaren Trophy championship at season finale and win prize Solus GT drive
David Foster and Bradley Ellis take 570S Trophy title at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya to claim McLaren VIP Grand Prix experience
Greystone GT are the Teams’ Champions after close battle with SMC Motorsport
Strong interest for 2024 McLaren Trophy season following success of inaugural championship
Artura Trophy pairing Gonzalo de Andres and Tomas Pintos were crowned inaugural McLaren Trophy champions after a dramatic final weekend of racing at the Spanish Grand Prix venue last weekend (September 30-October 1). David Foster and co-driver Bradley Ellis claimed the 570S Trophy class title after a tense battle that went right down to the wire.
Coming into the weekend overall title favourites de Andres and Pintos had a 17-point lead over nearest rivals Mark Hopton and Euan Hankey, so nothing less than victory in the opening race for the latter pairing would do to keep their championship hopes alive.
The British duo’s chances looked to be over after a spin for Hopton sent him plunging down the order early in the race, but while Hankey was unable to close the gap, a moment of drama for Pintos while fighting for the lead almost ended the Spanish pairing’s race. Pintos eventually settled for third place and the championship.
With the overall title settled, attention turned to the close battle for 570S Trophy class honours on Sunday, with only four points separating the top three in the championship. Rafa Martinez and Jem Hepsworth had the points advantage ahead of the race, but pole position for race one winners Foster and Ellis gave them an advantage that was extended after early challengers and title contenders Danny Henrey and Joe Osborne succumbed to a pit stop penalty. The British pair took a second victory, and in doing so, secured the class championship in dramatic fashion.
Foster and Ellis’s 570S Trophy success and Hopton and Hankey’s overall title challenge helped lift the Teams’ championship for Greystone GT, ahead of rivals SMC Motorsport.
The inaugural McLaren Trophy season was contested by 40 drivers across 20 driver pairings and 12 teams, with driver pairings consisting of an amateur and professional driver. More than half of the field raced the new Artura Trophy race car, which proved capable of lapping within three seconds of GT3 race cars, confirming the championship’s prestigious status within the international GT classes.
Over 120,000 viewers watched the races on online channels, while 140,000 trackside spectators followed the action at the 10 rounds, which took place at Grand Prix venues in France, Belgium, Germany and Spain.
Overall champions de Andres and Pintos will be invited to drive a Solus GT – the most extreme car yet from McLaren Automotive. The single-seat track-only car features a race-derived naturally-aspirated 5.2-litre V10 engine, weighs less than 1000kg and generates over 1200kg of downforce. Just 25 cars will be built, and both drivers will be among the few to experience the astonishing capabilities that powered the Solus GT to victory in the Goodwood Festival of Speed Shootout earlier this year.
For winning the 570S Trophy championship, Foster and Ellis will receive a McLaren VIP Grand Prix experience at a Formula 1 race event next season.
“Congratulations to Gonzalo de Andres and Tommy Pintos on their McLaren Trophy championship title, to David Foster and Bradley Ellis for winning the 570S Trophy, and to Greystone GT on the Teams’ championship. It has been an enthralling season, with exciting racing action and a friendly paddock atmosphere, while it has been wonderful to see our drivers develop as the year progressed. Our inaugural champions are added to a long list of McLaren champions, and they will hold a special place in the history of the McLaren Trophy, which is set to grow in the coming years – already we have strong interest for the 2024 season, driven by the popularity of the Artura Trophy race car and confirmation of our race calendar in July.”
Mick McDonagh, Director of MSO Motorsport, McLaren Automotive