Factory Drivers Rob Bell, Côme Ledogar and Shane van Gisbergen secured the prestigious Blancpain Endurance Cup Drivers Championship while customer team Garage 59 won the Blancpain GT Endurance Cup Teams Championship at the Nürburgring in one of the most successful weekends for McLaren in GT3 racing.
In the final three-hour race of the Blancpain season, the No. 58 650S GT3, driven by Bell, Ledogar and Brit Duncan Tappy – standing in for season-regular van Gisbergen – finished 30th. However, with two wins from the season’s five races against a world-class GT3 field that was constantly over 60 cars strong, the team and drivers were still able to take both titles by a single point.
The result also sees Bell in second place overall in the Blancpain GT Series Drivers championship – which combines the Endurance Cup and sister Sprint Cup series – heading into the final round at Barcelona.
In North America, McLaren enjoyed further success in the Pirelli World Challenge, which saw Factory Driver Alvaro Parente driving the No. 9 650S GT3 run by customer team K-PAX Racing retake the lead in the Drivers Standings after finishing fourth and second in the two races at Sonoma Raceway, California.
Parente’s young team-mate Austin Cindric in the No. 6 K-PAX Racing 650S GT3 also performed well in both races, finishing second in Race 1 after taking pole and leading almost every lap, and third in Race 2, once again showing consistency and poise.
The final round of the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge season is set to be held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, October 7-9.
Commenting on the Blancpain Endurance Cup titles, Andrew Kirkaldy, McLaren GT explained: “The McLaren 650S GT3 with Garage 59 has proven itself to be the class of the field this year in the Blancpain Endurance Cup against arguably the most competitive GT3 field in the category’s 10-year history.”
“Alongside this, all season long the Factory Drivers Rob Bell, Côme Ledogar and Shane van Gisbergen have been on top form, consistently putting the 650S GT3 among the frontrunners in the field. We now look forward to the Sprint Cup finale in Barcelona where Rob [Bell] has a chance to win the overall GT Series Championship,” he added.