McLaren Automotive has announced the four drivers selected for the second year of its Driver Development Programme.
In 2019, BRDC Rising Star and 2018 Clio Cup driver James Dorlin, 2018 Mini Challenge Rookie Champion and Rising Star Jordan Collard and Formula Ford Festival winner Josh Smith will join returnee Lewis Proctor, for a race programme in 570S GT4s. In addition, they will recieve assistance and guidance from McLaren which includes help in PR, marketing, sponsorshop, fitness, nutrition, data and telemetry and contract managment.
“I am delighted that the McLaren Automotive Driver Development Programme commences its second year with the four excellent young drivers confirmed today for 2019,” said McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt.
“We established the Programme to help gifted young drivers realise their motorsport ambitions, providing professional tuition and guidance to foster their racing talent. All of our 2018 drivers; Michael O’Brien, Charlie Fagg, Lewis Proctor have benefited from focused professional development and any one of the four drivers selected for 2019 is a potential GT Championship winner at the wheel of a McLaren.”
The four drivers will receive performance assessments and evaluations throughout the season, running parallel with their race programme.
They were selected for the programme after a selection process. During that they underwent formal interviews, fitness monitoring, engineering discussions with data analysis and various driving activities in a 570S GT4 up against the clock, overseen by a team at McLaren Automotive including longtime works driver Rob Bell.
Charlie Fagg, and Michael O’Brien, who impressed mightily as Development Programme Drivers during the 2018 season racing in the British GT Championship, will continue to race with McLaren in 2019 as members of the newly established McLaren Automotive Junior Performance Academy.
Next year they will race with McLaren customer teams in GT4. O’Brien is set to race with Balfe Motorsport in British GT, Fagg’s programme is yet to be announced.
Jordan Albert will also remain part of the McLaren family after leaving the development programme, working with the brand on events and activities.
“It’s a pleasure to welcome three bright young talents to the McLaren Automotive Driver Development Programme for 2019. Following a successful inaugural season for the programme, which saw two of the four drivers challenge for the GT4 class title in British GT, we’re looking forward to further successes for the second year of the programme.
“James Dorlin, Jordan Collard and Josh Smith impressed us during the selection process and join us on the back of excellent results in their respective 2018 campaigns. Together with retained DDP driver Lewis Proctor, they’ll be ones to watch in 2019, ” said McLaren Motorsport director Dan Walmsley.