BRITISH GT

VON RYAN RACING AND McLAREN CONFIRM TWO-CAR BRITISH GT ATTACK

Von Ryan Racing will return to the Avon Tyres British GT Championship this season with a pair of all-new McLaren 650S GT3s to be driven by Andrew Watson/Ross Wylie and Euan Hankey/Salih Yoluc.

The McLaren GT customer squad, which made several guest appearances in 2013, will contest all seven rounds this year following an intensive winter testing programme.

But perhaps of most interest will be the progress of McLaren Young Driver Programme members Watson and Wylie who, at a combined age of just 42, will be eager to prove their worth against a raft of more experienced drivers.

Wylie is no stranger to the championship having won last season’s GT4 title alongside Jake Giddings at the wheel of a Beechdean AMR Aston Martin Vantage, while 19-year-old Watson finished fourth overall in the Ginetta GT4 Supercup.

Team manager Dave Ryan confirmed both were already up to speed after a busy pre-season.

“I have been very pleased with the rate of progress by Andrew and Ross, and they have both come on as drivers so much already through working closely with my team,” he said. “We are confident they are a strong pairing to contest the British GT Championship, and we are looking forward to working with them this season. It is also a true test of the new McLaren 650S GT3 which has shown some real potential in testing.”

McLaren GT Managing Director Andrew Kirkaldy expects the pair to be competitive from the start.

“Andrew and Ross have shown themselves to be extremely professional and motivated since joining the McLaren GT Young Driver Programme,” he said. “The British GT championship has earned a reputation as one of the most competitive national GT series in Europe, and it will be a steep learning curve for them both, but I am confident that they will be a formidable pairing from the first outing in a couple of weeks. They will be working closely with [factory driver] Rob Bell throughout the season, and have access to extensive motorsport knowledge and expertise throughout the Von Ryan Racing team, not least from Dave Ryan, so they will learn a lot just from being around such a professional outfit.

On the other side of the Von Ryan Racing garage will be two British GT debutants in the shape of Hankey and Yoluc. The former’s credentials include scholarship titles in both Porsche Carrera Cup GB and Formula BMW, while his Turkish co-driver will be making a first foray into GT3-spec racing after spending last season in Britcar. The duo already know each other well having claimed SP3 class honours in January’s Dubai 24 Hours.