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 won a hard-fought race on the streets of Long Beach in a GT4-spec McLaren from Compass.
Announced during IMSA’s State of the Series event at Road America in August, the Sprint Cup will take place during the WeatherTech Championship races 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.