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Feb 28, 2019 / news


WOKING, ENGLAND -- McLaren Customer Racing continues to broaden its offering for customer teams racing globally, while further strengthening its professional driver programmes with the formation of the McLaren Young Professional category. The addition of three new Factory Drivers have also been confirmed for the 2019 season with Álvaro Parente, who recently campaigned the 720S GT3 on its competitive debut, announced alongside Canadian Kuno Wittmer and American Michael Cooper.  The 2019 race programme for the McLaren Automotive Driver Development Programme drivers has also been confirmed.

With this latest announcement, the McLaren Automotive Factory Driver call-sheet now adds Michael Cooper, Álvaro Parente, and Kuno Wittmer alongside Ben Barnicoat, Rob Bell, Paul Holton and Joe Osborne. These seven drivers will campaign the 570S GT4 and 720S GT3 with customer teams across a variety of championships globally, as well as continue the important on-going development work with the two GT models throughout the season. 

Fresh from victory at Daytona on his debut outing in the 570S GT4, Kuno Wittmer joins the Factory Driver ranks looking to continue his strong start to 2019. Hailing from Montreal in Canada, the 36-year old has enjoyed significant success Stateside, taking the 2014 IMSA GTLM championship, before victory at the Daytona 24-hour the following year and GTLM honours at Petit Le Mans in 2017. Wittmer is confirmed for driving duties in the McLaren 570S GT4 of customer team Compass Racing in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. 

This newly established three-tier driver roster is announced following a week-long intensive training camp which took place at the Motor & Sport Institute in Madrid, Spain. As a key part of the preparation ahead of the 2019 race season, each of the drivers underwent a series of tests at the state-of-the-art facility. Each element of the programme was bespoke to each individual, with a range of activities designed to analyse physical fitness, mental agility, physiotherapy, psychological evaluation, nutrition, and simulation work.