McLaren has become the seventh manufacturer with representation in the 2019 World Challenge Asia season, with Japanese squad ABSSA Motorsport entering a brand new 720S GT3 into the series.
This is the first McLaren to be entered into the series’ (formerly Blancpain GT Series Asia) top class since Clearwater Racing ran a 650S GT3 in the inaugural event back in 2017. It is also the fifth marque to bring a new car to the series this year, after previous confirmation of customer teams running the new Aud R8 LMS EVO, Honda NSX GT3 Evo, Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO and new Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Coincidentally, one of Clearwater’s regular drivers will be part of the programme, (ABSSA team founder and director) Keita Sawa confirmed alongside reigning Super Taikyu TCR champion Tadao Uematsu for a Pro-Am class attack.
“Not many Japanese teams compete outside of their native championships so to see so many racing in Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia over the last two years made it a prime contender for ABSSA Motorsport’s first full-season GT programme,” Sawa said, confirming his first motorsport commitment since stepping away from the FIA WEC with his long-time teammate Weng Sun Mok.
“The opportunity to race against Asia’s best teams and drivers was also a key factor in our decision. I’ve always loved the challenge of taking on the best our continent has to offer and this championship gives me the chance to do that.
“McLaren has a very strong heritage in Japan and it’s made a big commitment to new customers there this year. It also holds a special place in my heart after winning the Asian Le Mans Series title with Clearwater and the 650S, so there was really only one choice when it came to which car we’d choose for this season.”