Two rising stars of Scottish motorsport, Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell, will be leading the development on the McLaren 570S GT4 in the 2016 British GT Championship.
Being run by Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse, the new GT4 machine was a surprise announcement at British GT’s media day at Snetterton, and now the car will be raced in anger for the first time by two racers making the move from single seaters into the world of GT racing.
For Haggerty, a successful 2014 campaign saw him win the Scottish FF1600 title and take five podiums in last season’s BRDC F4 championship. Mentored by IndyCar great Dario Franchitti, 19-year-old Haggerty has made a bold step moving to GT racing but has been given a good opportunity to develop the latest generation McLaren.
16-year-old Sandy Mitchell is in the same position, a solid season in MSA Formula became the launchpad for a move into British GT – where he’ll set the record for the youngest racer in the championship.
Team Patron Hugh McCaig is looking forward to seeing the pair in the McLaren: “It is a fantastic feeling to see two of Scotland’s young superstars take the next step in to top-level GT racing. I am sure the GT4 category will be an ideal platform for Ciaran and Sandy to demonstrate their talent with the support of the Ecurie Ecosse Young Drivers Initiative.”
Talent was a deciding factor for McLaren GT Managing Director Andrew Kirkaldy. He said: “The decision to run the two Ecurie Ecosse Young Drivers was a very easy one. We conducted some pre-season testing and it was very clear from the outset that both Haggerty and Mitchell are stars of the future. Their pace and feedback is very good and of a level that we are comfortable with, showing that they are ready for the challenge. Having Rob in the same team will be a great asset for them to use and we hope to see some good results for the new model.”
In addition to the GT4 entry, Ecurie Ecosse will be a McLaren heavy team for 2016 as they run a McLaren 650S for factory driver Rob Bell and Alasdair McCaig.