GT Daytona McLaren 720S GT3
- Paul Holton
The result of Compass Racing's debut of the McLaren 720S GT3 in North America at Mid-Ohio belie what was a very good opening weekend of IMSA’s WeatherTech Sprint Cup for drivers Paul Holton and Matt Plumb. Coming off a series of initial development tests at Palm Beach International Raceway, Mid-Ohio and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the team looked forward to a solid showing in the initial round.
"With unsettled weather on the agenda for most of the event, we used our track time developing wet set-ups we expect to use later in the season,” noted Managing Director Jill Beck. “With very limited testing since we received the car a few weeks ago, we’re making use of every opportunity to continue development on this amazing new platform.”
In wet practice the team saw excellent top-five pace, and was well into the top-ten during the initial stages of the two-hour-and-forty minute race, when Plumb was hit from behind by a competitor (who was given a drive-through for avoidable contact), putting him down the order.
The team executed its signature pit-stop work, making up a few places, but Holton was hit by another car during his stint, which damaged the McLaren and put an end to the day.
“We’re encouraged by the pace we had on our debut, but have a lot of work to do before we get to Detroit,” remarked Holton. “We know that we’re competing in what is the most competitive GT3 paddock on the paddock, and don’t expect it to be easy.”
In advance of the second Sprint Cup round on Belle Isle, the team will test at Road America and Sebring. “Sebring will be a really good opportunity to dial in the car for Detroit,” said Technical Director Ray Lee. “The track layout and surface are similar, which will give us a base-line to start from.”