Leeds driver Ollie Wilkinson to take part in 2020 GT World Challenge with McLaren

Leeds driver Ollie Wilkinson will take part in the 2020 GT World Challenge after signing with the racing powerhouse McLaren Motorsport.

Ollie Wilkinson with his McLaren 720S GT3. Picture: McLaren Automotive.

Wilkinson, age 23, who is in his fourth year of motorsport racing will be on the grid at Monza for his GT World Challenge debut when the competition starts on April 17 in Italy.

“It’s fantastic to be able to share my plans for the 2020 season as a McLaren professional driver,” said Wilkinson. “It’s a massive deal for me to be stepping up to the top level of GT3 racing with some of the best drivers in the business.”

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Wilkinson started his racing career in 2017 competing in the Ginetta GT5 challenge.

In his debut season he managed a string of pole positions and podium finishes which resulted in him claiming third place in the championship.

After his fruitful first season, a move to GT3 followed and in his second professional season he won the Silver Cup title and his rise has just continued.

Wilkinson added: “I’ve been with Optimum Motorsport since I started racing in 2017 and it feels like home. It’s been great to help build a relationship between them and McLaren, and take my next big step.”

Wilkinson will be one of three drivers taking turns at the wheel of the McLaren 720S GT3 with Joe Osborne and Rob Bell also leading the title challenge alongside the Yorkshireman.

And Bell is excited to be working with Wilkinson. He said: “I am looking forward to working with him and being paired up with Joe as well. We should be in a strong position from the outset, and the first round at Monza can’t come soon enough.”

The GT World Challenge consists of 10 rounds spanning eight countries with Brands Hatch hosting a round on May 3 and Silverstone the venue on May 10.

The championship also includes one of the toughest races in world motorsport – the 24 hours of Spa –which will take place in Belguim on July 26 while the season concludes at Barcelona on October 11.

Ahead of his debut season, Wilkinson added: “This is the biggest season of my career and I can’t wait to get started.”