Photo: McLaren

While McLaren’s 650S GT3 has been extremely popular in international endurance and sprint competition, its successor, the new 720S is finally ready for its North American competition debut. The car will race under the Compass Racing team banner when it arrives for the third round of the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship GTD class at Mid Ohio on the 5th of May.

Factory McLaren driver Paul Holton will join with Compass Racing driver Matt Plumb for the entirety of the season’s seven sprint races. Compass currently campaigns a 570S GT4 in IMSA’s Michelin Pilot Challenge support series.

Dan Walmsley, Motorsport Director, McLaren Automotive.

“The popularity of GT3 racing in North America has dramatically grown over recent seasons and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is one of the most competitive GT series in the world. With the North American market the largest for McLaren Automotive, it is great to have customer teams racing with the 720S GT3 in such an exciting and well-supported championship; we are proud to partner with IMSA and having McLaren cars competing in the GTD class from 2019 is an important and significant moment for McLaren Customer Racing.”

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New to the GTD class, the Compass Racing McLaren will face off against competition from Porsche, Lamborghini, Audi, Lexus, Ferrari, Mercedes-AMG, Acura, and BMW. It may be the most hotly contested sports car championship in the world. In order to enter the car, McLaren has agreed to become an official automotive partner with IMSA for a multi-year deal.

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For 2019, the McLaren team will only contest the 7-race sub championship for GTD cars in sprint races. Being that the major endurance races have come and gone, McLaren will focus this year on the sprint championship. Following this round at Mid-Ohio, the McLaren 720S GT3 will race theBelle Isle, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Lime Rock Park, Road America, VIR, and Laguna Seca rounds.