Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Compass to Field McLaren in Sprint Cup


Compass Racing has become the first McLaren Customer Racing team to announce a program with the new McLaren 720S GT3 and will introduce the car to IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition in May 2019.

After fielding McLaren 570S GT4 cars in the Michelin Pilot Challenge the past two seasons, the Toronto-based team will add a WeatherTech Sprint Cup effort to its endeavors in IMSA’s secondary series for 2019.

Factory McLaren driver Paul Holton and Matt Plumb will share the cockpit of the GT Daytona entry during the collection of seven races, which joins the Michelin Endurance Cup as a championship within the WeatherTech Championship next year.

Holton earned the most GS pole positions and, along with Plumb, led the most laps in the class throughout 2018. With a best finish of second in the finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, the duo placed third in the championship. In what was formerly known as Pirelli World Challenge, Holton also won a hard-fought race on the streets of Long Beach in a GT4-spec McLaren from Compass.

Paul Holton poses after IMSA Continental Challenge Road America pole
Paul Holton earned the GS pole when the formerly known Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge visited Road America. | Photo: Michael Levitt / IMSA

Announced during IMSA’s State of the Series event at Road America in August, the Sprint Cup will take place during the WeatherTech Championship events at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Raceway at Belle Isle Park, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, Lime Rock Park, Road America, Virginia International Raceway and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

“We’ve enjoyed working closely with McLaren in developing the GT4 car over the past two years and look forward to continuing that strong relationship over the next few seasons, in both GT3 and GT4,” said Compass’ managing director Jill Beck.

“The new Sprint Cup is something we’d hoped IMSA would implement as it provides a perfect ladder for our McLaren program, with steps from GS to Sprint to a full WeatherTech effort.”

The first race for Compass and McLaren in IMSA’s premier championship at Mid-Ohio will take place May 5, 2019.

Aaron Durant
Aaron Durant
Aaron brings a developing design and editorial vision to The Apex every day and co-hosts The Braking Point podcast every week. As editor-in-chief and an avid reader, Aaron enjoys aligning his relentless care for quality with an interest in counterintuitive approaches.


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With four classes, oft-debated regulations and races lasting as long as 24 hours, there's always more to be written about the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.