McLaren turns to youth for GT racing

McLaren’s Australian customer racing team 59Racing has announced plans to identify emerging young drivers for future Australian GT competitions.

The team will use young drivers to campaign their McLaren 570S GT4 in future rounds starting with the CAMS Australian Endurance Championship’s final round at Sandown Raceway this weekend.

The 570S GT4 has had already enjoyed a solid outing at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2019 earlier this year, with Ryan Simpson driving the car at the international event.

For this Championship’s season finale this weekend, the team has secured the services of second-generation driver Christian Fitzgerald as its first candidate for the new program.

The season finale will mark Fitzgerald’s Australian GT debut, with the youngster having completed a number of Porsche Club Days at Sandown, as well in the NSW Production Touring Car Championship.

Fitzgerald will also have the inspiration of his father Peter for his debut with Peter boasting a record of multiple titles in GT Production Car Championships over 40 years.

Joining Fitzgerald in the 570S GT4 will be British GT regular and McLaren Automotive junior performance academy member Michael O’Brien.

In contrast to his less qualified teammate, O’Brien has a wealth of experience behind the wheel of a GT car with the 25-year-old having finish third in the British championship last year before taking two Pro-Am wins in the same category in 2019.

Despite this, both will be considered rookies this weekend with O’Brien have no experience on the iconic 13-turn, 3.104-kilometre Victorian circuit.

The CAMS Australian Endurance Championship forms part of a huge Shannons Nationals this weekend with S5000 Australia, carsales TCR Australia Series, Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge, MRF Tyres Australian Production Cars and the Kumho Tyres Super3 Series all on the bill.

Tickets for the Shannons Nationals sixth round are now available with 10 per cent of all sales going to charity partner Very Special Kids.

Click here to secure your tickets.

Fans unable to attend the round can watch via SBS or on the live stream on speedseries.com.au.

The carsales TCR Australia Series forms part of the Shannons Nationals visit to Sandown Raceway and takes place on 20-22 September.