September, 12, 2016 – The drive by McLaren GT Factory Driver Rob Bell to the flag headlined a clean sweep in the GT3 and GT4 classes for McLaren GT customer team Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse in the 2016 British GT Championship season finale at Donington Park. The result marked the first win of the season for the 650S GT3 in the championship and the second for the 570S GT4, concluding a highly successful developmental season for the newest model. The second consecutive victory for Haggerty and Mitchell saw the pair claim second in the British GT4 Drivers championship – Silver and third overall in the British GT4 Drivers championship.
A strong weekend in Austria also saw three examples of the 650S GT3 lined up in the International GT Open at the Red Bull Ring run by customer teams Balfe Motorsport and Garage 59, with McLaren GT Factory Driver – and 2015 championship winner – Alvaro Parente making a one-off appearance in the championship. With two races across the course of the weekend, the 650S GT3 secured a double podium and three further top five finishes.
The result of the weekend, though, came from Bell and teammate Alisdair McCaig in the #79 650S GT3 and Sandy Mitchell and Ciaran Haggerty in the #59 570S GT4. Both cars lined up on the front row of the respective classes for the two-hour race to end the season after qualifying, and the McLaren pair came through to take victory against a strong field.
McCaig started the race in the #79 Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse 650S GT3 and held station in P2 throughout his stint. Fighting through traffic, he managed to stay close to the leading car, and handed the car over to Rob Bell, who after a quicker stop than the leader, emerged from the pits in the lead. In the second hour of the race, Bell, like McCaig was able to set consistent lap times through traffic and maintained a comfortable lead until the end of the race.
In GT4, taking the second-ever victory for the McLaren 570S GT4, Sandy Mitchell and Ciaran Haggerty combined for a faultless performance in the race. Mitchell started the race, and took the lead early as the pole-sitting car slipped down the order. He then handed over to Haggerty at half-distance, who extended the lead from six seconds to over 10 in the final hour, crossing the line to cap an impressive first season which saw it score two pole positions and two wins. With this victory, Haggerty and Mitchell concluded the debut season with the 570S GT4 second in the driver championship for silver drivers, and third overall.