McLaughlin heads YNA Autosport Pro/Am charge

Scott McLaughlin will spearhead YNA Autosport’s Pro-Am entry in the 2018 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.

Supported by McElrea Raing, sharing the Opti-Coat McLaren 650S GT3 with 2016 Class B winner McLaughlin will be Australian GT race winner Fraser Ross, factory McLaren GT driver Andrew Watson,  and experienced Swedish racer Alexander West.

The well credentialed lineup complements the previously announced all-Pro lineup, providing YNA Autosport an opportunity to claim both outright and class victories.

After a successful 2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, McLaughlin will make just his second appearance at the Bathurst 12 Hour, and his first at the wheel of a McLaren 650S GT3.

“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!”

“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,” added Ross, who competed with YNA Autosport throughout the 2017 Australian GT season.

“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.”

Also poised to make his second Bathurst 12 Hour appearance is Andrew Watson, after being a member of McLaren’s 2016 Bathurst 12 Hour efforts.

A race winner in the International GT Open series and Class winner at the Sepang 12 Hours, Watson last year competed in the Blancpain GT Series.

“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, 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.”

Completing the lineup is the experienced Alexander West, who competed in the Blancpain GT Endurance Cup in 2017, and finished third in the International GT Open series for McLaren with two wins and four other podium finishes.

The 2018 Bathurst 12 Hour marks the Swede’s first appearance in Australia, following previous experience in Asia.

“The Bathurst 12 Hour and Mount Panorama should be on the bucket list for anyone interested in endurance racing,” said West.

“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 McLaren 650S GT3 is one of the most successful sportscars of the modern era, winning both the Australian GT Championship and Australian Endurance Championship, along with the Bathurst 12 Hour, in 2016.

Internationally it has recorded championship success in the United States and Europe with victory in the Pirelli World Challenge and Blancpain Endurance Series respectively.

The twin-turbo V8 engine, developed in-house by McLaren, is mounted to a light-weight carbon-fibre chassis providing incredible power and handling.

It’s a car which has propelled McLaren back to the forefront of sportscar racing, where it proved a dominant force at the height of Can-Am competition in the late 1960s, and in the mid-1990s with victory at Le Mans courtesy of the McLaren F1.

The 2018 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour takes place on February 2-4, with live free-to-air television coverage on 7mate across Australia, and an online stream allowing fans around the world to follow the race as it unfolds.

Tickets remain available for the event, with race day tickets priced from just $40, including free access to the paddock area.