McLaren Automotive confirms British Racing talents selected

McLaren Automotive confirms British Racing talents selected

19.12.2018: ... for 2019 Driver Development Programme James Dorlin, Jordan Collard and Josh Smith join Lewis Proctor for second year of McLaren Automotive Driver Development Programme (DDP)

... for 2019 Driver Development Programme

    James Dorlin, Jordan Collard and Josh Smith join Lewis Proctor for second year of McLaren Automotive Driver Development Programme (DDP)

    Programme devised to develop future racing talent in GT racing

    Drivers assessed via formal interviews, fitness monitoring, engineering knowledge, data analysis and various driving activities

    DDP drivers will pair up to race two McLaren 570S GT4 cars in 2019

    Programme includes guidance in PR, marketing and sponsorship as well as fitness, nutrition, data and telemetry, and contract management

McLaren Automotive continues its drive to develop future racing talent with confirmation of the drivers who will participate in its 2019 Driver Development Programme (DDP).  Introduced for 2018, the initiative is designed to support and nurture young, up-and-coming GT drivers, providing a base for a career in motorsport.

The successful candidates who will join the McLaren Automotive Driver Development Programme for 2019 are: James Dorlin (19); Jordan Collard (18); and Josh Smith (19). They will be teaming up with 2018 DDP member, Lewis Proctor (22), who remains in the Programme for a second season.

The DDP Programme is designed to help drivers gain valuable experience both on and off the track, with a view to develop the next generation of McLaren Automotive Factory Drivers to compete in endurance racing.

“I am delighted that the McLaren Automotive Driver Development Programme commences its second year with four excellent young drivers confirmed today for 2019,” commented Mike Flewitt, CEO, McLaren Automotive. “We established the Programme to help gifted young drivers realise their motorsport ambitions, providing professional tuition and guidance to foster their racing talent.

 All of our 2018 drivers; Michael O’Brien, Charlie Fagg, Lewis Proctor and Jordan Albert have benefited from focused professional development and any one of the four drivers selected for 2019 is a potential GT Championship winner at the wheel of a McLaren – perhaps our new 720S GT3 car that last weekend in Abu Dhabi made a remarkably strong start to its competitive career.”

The four 2019 DDP drivers will receive performance assessments and evaluations throughout the season, alongside an individually tailored programme designed to ensure measurable performance improvement. With access to a range of professionals from across the McLaren business, including the support and mentoring from the Factory Drivers, each member of the programme will receive guidance in PR, marketing and sponsorship as well as valuable insights into fitness and nutrition assessments, data and telemetry management and understanding, as well as contract management.

Despite their youth, the three drivers joining the programme have already achieved significant successes across the motorsport spectrum, including in karting, single-seat and touring car formulae. The drivers were selected from a talented shortlist following a rigorous two-day assessment to analyse a range of different skills and abilities, both in and out of the driving seat.

Each of the drivers underwent formal interviews, monitoring of overall fitness, engineering discussions with data analysis, and various driving activities against the clock in a 570S GT4, simulating qualifying runs and extended race pace. Each of these were overseen by a team from McLaren Automotive that included Factory Driver, Rob Bell.

As was the case during 2018, the new season will see the four selected drivers paired up and running in 570S GT4s. Details of the championship and driver pairings for the new season will be confirmed early in 2019.

The 2018 Driver Development Programme saw the four drivers perform strongly throughout the season, securing a combined two pole positions and five podium finishes from the seven-date British GT race calendar with customer team Tolman Motorsport. These results saw the driver pairing of Charlie Fagg and Michael O’Brien narrowly miss out on the GT4 driver championship title, by just two points.  For the 2019 season, Fagg and O’Brien will move to the newly established McLaren Automotive junior performance academy, which will see them both racing with McLaren Automotive GT4 customer teams.

O’Brien will return to the British GT grid, and continue to race at the wheel of the 570S GT4. He joins Balfe Motorsport and will partner with Graham Johnson who will be looking to continue his form from the closing races of the 2018 season, which saw him take victory at Brands Hatch. After a strong season with results in both the British and China GT championships, Fagg will also return to race the 570S GT4 during 2019, and details of his programme will be announced in the coming weeks.

Jordan Albert leaves the Driver Development Programme at the end of the 2018 season, but will remain part of the McLaren Automotive family. He will continue his involvement with the brand on events and activities, including Pure McLaren track experiences.

Dan Walmsley, McLaren Automotive, Director of Motorsport   “It’s a pleasure to welcome three bright young talents to the McLaren Automotive Driver Development Programme for 2019. Following a successful inaugural season for the programme, which saw two of the four drivers challenge for the GT4 class title in the British GT Championship, we’re looking forward to further successes for the second year of the programme.

James Dorlin, Jordan Collard and Josh Smith impressed us during the selection process and join us on the back of excellent results in their respective 2018 campaigns. Together with retained DDP driver Lewis Proctor, they will be ones to watch in 2019.”

- Wayne Bruce, photo McLaren


19.12.2018 / MaP

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