Ross Wylie and Andrew Watson have been selected as the first two drivers to benefit from a new McLaren GT Young Driver Programme.
Reigning British GT4 champion Wylie and Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup race-winner Watson will be involved in an extensive development testing programme on the new McLaren 650S Sprint and GT3, alongside factory drivers Rob Bell, Kevin Estre and Alvaro Parente.
Spearheaded by McLaren GT managing director Andrew Kirkaldy, the new programme, launched at the 2015 Autosport International Show, will see the two young drivers also benefit from driver coaching and management, simulator testing and driver tuition roles.
“It is great that we are in the position to offer these promising young drivers an opportunity to become part of our team, and help give them a boost with their careers,” said Kirkaldy.
“This programme is designed to offer young drivers we feel have something special a chance to show what they can do behind the wheel of a GT car, and also work closely with our drivers, engineers and technical teams, giving them access to many years of race and championship-winning experience at the highest levels.”
Wylie joins the programme after a hugely successful 2014 campaign, the former VW Scirocco R-Cup racer having taken the Avon Tyres British GT Championship GT4 title alongside Jake Giddings in a Beechdean-AMR Aston Martin V8 Vantage.
Wylie said: “I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to become involved with McLaren, which is such a famous name in motorsport, and to have access to the people, technology and levels of support, both on and off the track, is a dream come true. I look forward to working with my new teammate and the whole McLaren GT team this year.”
Watson meanwhile has competed in the Ginetta Supercup for the past two years, with the Irishman taking a best championship finish of fourth in 2014 with a total of five race wins and ten other podium finishes under his belt.
“I have been working hard to improve and progress my career over the past few seasons, so to have this recognised by McLaren is a real honour,” added Watson.
“I hope that I can help the team progress, while also gaining valuable knowledge and experience from one of the most famous names on the grid to take my career to the next level. I look forward to working with Ross and the rest of the team in 2015.”
Details on where Wylie and Watson will be competing in 2015 will be announced soon.