McLaren star Barnicoat joins British GT

Managing Editor
@LaddersMN

McLaren factory driver Ben Barnicoat will make his British GT Championship debut this season with the Track Club team.

The 21-year-old will share a McLaren 570S GT4 with series returnee Adam Balon.

Barnicoat enjoyed a successful single-seater career prior to his move into sportscar racing, having been part of the Racing Steps Foundation programme. He was a BRDC Formula 4 Winter Series champion and a two-time winner in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship.

Barnicoat switched to GTs for 2017, racing in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup with Strakka Racing to handle a 650S GT3. He has since been made a member of the McLaren GT Driver Academy.

Barnicoat said: “It’s going to be great doing British GT as it’s a brand new championship for me and it’ll be my first season of racing in Britain since karting in 2012, so there’s a lot to learn.

“Fortunately I’ve done a lot of testing on the tracks, so I know the British circuits, probably not as well as a lot of the other drivers, but I like the challenge of learning new things. The only one I’ve hardly driven is Donington Park, which is ironic as it’s my local track!

Barnicoat will share Track Club McLaren with Balon. Pic: Jakob Ebrey

“I’ve done some development work on the 570S GT4, so I know what the car’s about and it’s a great piece of kit and is probably one of the most advanced GT4 cars available right now.

“I don’t know a huge amount about British GT. I’ve been friends with [reigning GT3 champion] Seb Morris since we were team-mates in 2014 [in Formula Renault], so I’ve checked in on what he’s been doing, but aside from that doing a Pro-Am championship is all new to me, but I like a challenge.”

Balon scored two race wins in his maiden British GT season last term sharing with Adam Mackay. The two finished fourth in the GT4 points.

Balon is back for second GT4 season. Pic: Jakob Ebrey

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