New McLaren factory driver Ollie Wilkinson joins JOTA for GT World Challenge Europe bid

Leeds racer Ollie Wilkinson will join multiple Le Mans-winning team JOTA for an assault on the GT World Challenge Europe Championship this year, after being promoted to a fully fledged McLaren factory driver.

Leeds driver Ollie Wilkinson has joined the JOTA team for the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance and Sprint Championships. Picture: Khyzyl Saleem.

Wilkinson will share a McLaren 720S GT3 with Ben Barnicoat and Rob Bell across both the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance and Sprint Championships.

The 24-year-old’s promotion to a factory driver comes a year after his recruitment by McLaren Customer Racing as a professional driver, and remarkably, just four years into his racing career.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I’m incredibly proud to become a McLaren factory driver,” said Wilkinson.

Leeds driver Ollie Wilkinson, far right, with his JOTA team-mates Rob Bell, far left and Ben Barnicoat. Picture: Khyzyl Saleem.

“It’s mind-blowing to have achieved this at such an early stage of my career. I thank McLaren for this opportunity and for putting so much belief in me.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join the JOTA team. Over the past two decades, they have proved they’ve got what it takes to win titles at every level and to be joining them as part of an all-McLaren factory driver line-up is epic.

“It’s great to have Ben and Rob as my team-mates and I hope between us we can get the job done.”

Wilkinson will team up with Barnicoat and Bell to attack the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup, while the Yorkshireman will link up with Barnicoat to challenge for honours in the Sprint Cup.

David Clark, co-owner of JOTA added: “We are especially pleased to have Ollie Wilkinson in the JOTA team, he’s a talented young driver and we would like to help enhance his career in the way we have with Harry Tincknell, Mitch Evans, and Oliver Turvey to name but a few.

“In fact there are nine JOTA drivers in Formula E and we would like Ollie to be the next JOTA driver success story.”

The first round of the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup takes place at Monza on April 16-18.