Supercars driver Scott McLaughlin will headline YNA Autosports’ Pro-Am McLaren entry at the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in February.
The DJR Team Penske star will be joined in the Opti-Coat sponsored 650s GT3 by co-drivers Fraser Ross, factory McLaren GT driver Andrew Watson and Swedish racer Alexander West.
The Pro-Am entry completes the two-car team operated out of McElrea Racing, after the squad’s all-Pro lineup was announced late last year.
It will be McLaughlin’s first ever start in the Bathurst 12 Hour aboard a GT3 car, after he previously competed the event twice with Class B team Grove Racing in 2014 and 2016, taking out the class win in both years.
“I am really excited for my first attack at the Bathurst 12 Hour in Class A machinery,” said McLaughlin.
“We have a great line up to attack the Pro-Am class honours but also attack the outright order.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge and excited to be in a fantastic car like the McLaren with some great teammates.
“The 12 Hour is a perfect way to start my racing season and hopefully we can kick it off with some success!”
Ross, who impressed in his debut Australian GT campaign last year with YNA Autosport, holds his head up high as the event approaches and reckons they’ll be the ones to beat in the Pro-Am class.
“After seeing some positive results in my in my first GT season last year I am absolutely pumped to head into my first 12 Hour endurance race at the iconic Mount Panorama,” said the Melbourne-based driver.
“We have a very strong lineup and with the support of YNA Autosport and McElrea Racing, we are entering this very confident.
“The McLaren has proved time and time again its capabilities with its previous success around the world and particularly at Bathurst.
“I believe we will be force to be reckoned with for Pro-Am honours.”
Watson is also looking forward to the Australian endurance classic as he returns to Mount Panorama for the first time since 2016 where he was a part of McLaren’s Bathurst 12 Hour squad.
The Sepang 12 Hours class winner and Blancpain GT Series driver is poised for the event and says he has confidence in his co-drivers.
“Going back to Bathurst is an amazing chance as we had a lot of speed in the McLaren in 2016, so I know the 650S GT3 is good around the Mountain,” said Watson.
“The 12 Hour is such a great race and I’m proud to be a part of it again.
“I already know Fraser and Alex [Alexander West], and I’m looking forward to teaming up with Scott as I know how handy these V8 drivers are after racing with Shane van Gisbergen in 2016 in Europe.”
Competing the line-up is West, who’ll make his first appearance in Australia having finished third in the International GT Open series for McLaren in 2017.
“The Bathurst 12 Hour and Mount Panorama should be on the bucket list for anyone interested in endurance racing,” said the Swede.
“So this is a dream come true and I’m really looking forward to racing at this famous track in Australia with YNA Autosport in the Mclaren 650S GT3.”
The 2018 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour takes place from February 2-4.