2009 Formula 1 World Champion, Jenson Button will make his McLaren Customer Racing 720S GT3 debut in the Silverstone 500 race this weekend, November 7/8 – three years after he last competed in a McLaren, at the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix. The 15-time Grand Prix winner headlines a record entry for McLaren in the British GT Championship.
Button, who drove for McLaren in Formula 1 for seven seasons, will take part in the three-hour race alongside his Customer Racing Team Jenson Team Rocket RJN co-owner, Chis Buncombe, at the home of the British Grand Prix. His first appearance in a McLaren GT3 car comes as several McLaren Customer Racing Teams line up with hopes of title successes in the final round of the 2020 British GT season – including the race-winning Jenson Team Rocket RJN crew of McLaren Professional Driver Michael O’Brien and World’s Fastest Gamer James Baldwin, who are in contention for the overall GT3 Drivers’ Championship.
This will be my first taste of a GT3 car but I’m really looking forward it. It will be lovely to join our team and lining-up in the McLaren 720S with my best buddy Chris Buncombe. It’s great to come back and race on UK soil again and a big thank you to our partners that have made this possible. It’s a shame that this final round of the Intelligent Money British GT Championship will take place without fans present, but I hope they will tune in to follow our progress!Jenson Button
Covid-19 restrictions mean that the event will take place behind closed doors, however the race will be broadcast live on the Sky F1 channel – for which Jenson provides expert insight – as well as British GT’s live-streaming channels.
In addition to Jenson Team Rocket RJN’s title ambitions, several McLaren Customer Racing Teams are in contention for silverware this weekend, with nine GT3 entries making this the biggest McLaren entry in the series since the 720GT3 made its championship debut last year:
- 2 Seas Motorsport will be aiming to end the season as the top McLaren Customer Racing Team, holding a 3.5-point advantage over Jenson Team Rocket RJN. Their three-pronged attack features GT3 Silver Cup title contenders Jack Mitchell and Jordan Witt, as well as Angus Fender and Dean Macdonald, plus Al Faisal Al Zubair and McLaren Professional Driver Martin Kodric.
- Optimum Motorsport fields McLaren Professional Driver Ollie Wilkinson and McLaren Academy Driver Lewis Proctor, Brendan Iribe and Ollie Millroy, plus Mark Crader and Alex Mortimer.
- Balfe Motorsport – which gave the 720S GT3 its British GT debut last year – returns to GT3 action with Shaun Balfe and McLaren Factory Driver Rob Bell.
In addition to the GT3 championship challenge, McLaren Customer Racing Teams are in contention for GT4 class honours with five 570S GT4 entered for Silverstone:
- HHC Motorsport’s crew of McLaren Academy Driver Jordan Collard and co-driver Patrick Matthiesen are currently just 2.5-points behind the leader in the GT4 standings and are also in contention for the GT4 Silver Cup title. Gus Bowers and Chris Wesemael will be helping HHC to claim the GT4 Teams’ Championship.
- Balfe Motorsport’s McLaren Factory Driver Euan Hankey and double Pure McLaren champion Mia Flewitt will be crowned GT4 Pro-Am champions, having secured the title prior to this weekend. Also representing Balfe Motorsport in GT4 will be Jan Klingelnberg and Warren Hughes, plus Lars Dahmann and Charlie Hollings.
Qualifying for this weekend’s final round of the British GT Championship at Silverstone is scheduled to take place at 15:00 on Saturday, with the three-hour race starting at 12:50 on Sunday. Live coverage will be available to watch on British GT’s website and SRO’s GT World Youtube channel, while Sky F1 will also be broadcasting the race live from 12:45 local time on Sunday.
Note: Press release courtesy of McLaren Automotive.