GT Daytona McLaren 720S GT3
- Paul Holton
- Matt Plumb
New-look team starts new-look championship strongly at Circuit of the Americas
Austin, TX – The debut weekend for Andretti Autosport's SRO GT4 America McLaren 570S GT4 program with Compass Racing provided a strong start to the season, with drivers Jarett Andretti and Karl Thomson taking a win in the second race of the weekend.
“All told, we had a really solid first weekend together for our combined effort,” noted Compass Racing Team Principal Thomson. “I’m excited about the new direction for the Pirelli World Challenge under the SRO, and we think GT4 America is going to be a great place to race.”Andretti qualified the No. 36 Window World / MI Windows and Doors / Military to Motorsport / Endurance Warranty / Compass Racing McLaren 570S GT4 on pole in the AM class for race one, and handed the car to Thomson in second-place overall half-way through the one-hour contest. Thomson battled the Pro-class drivers and held on for fourth overall and first in class to stand atop the top step for the first-ever GT4 America race. Unfortunately, during post-race tech the car was found to be under-weight and was excluded from the results.Race two took place on Sunday and Thomson qualified No. 36 P3 in class, behind Compass Racing alumni Mathew Keegan in his Panoz Avezzano. In the opening laps, Keegan had contact with another car and spun off, with Thomson gaining a place in class and working through the Pro/Am entries. Andretti took over and continued the charge, finishing third overall and once again first-in-class.
Unsurprisingly, this time the squad’s McLaren passed tech with flying colors, allowing the team a well-deserved celebration.“Scoring zero points for race one means we have some work to do in the next few races to climb to the lead of the championship,” noted Thomson. “But I’ve got a great co-driver in Jarett and a great group behind us, and I’m confident we’ll be there soon enough. We’re grateful to be working with John (Andretti) and Robin (Pemberton), two guys who are absolute legends, and the rest of the Andretti guys.”Jarett drives the next two SRO events solo, with St. Petersburg and Long Beach being single-driver Sprint rounds for GT4. Thomson will return to co-driving duties at Virginia International Raceway April 26-27th.