In2Racing confirm double McLaren GT4 entry; Marsh and Howell paired in first 570S
In2Racing will join the British GT Championship grid with a pair of McLaren 570S GT4s this season after confirming Gareth Howell and Richard Marsh aboard the first of its entries.
The outfit, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, is best known for its Porsche Carrera Cup GB exploits and was scheduled to make its British GT debut with the German marque in 2016 before pre-season supply issues scuppered its plans.
But it’s now back as one of three confirmed customer teams to be running the new 570S in British GT4 following a full season of race-based development conducted throughout 2016. Both Tolman Motorsport and track-club have already announced their entries, but In2Racing are the only customer team overseeing a pair of the new McLarens.
The first of them features a Pro/Am line-up boasting BTCC experience plus a little inside knowledge of the McLaren project.
Howell is a former British karting champion and BTCC race winner but hasn’t raced competitively since 2010. Instead, his skills have been put to good use by McLaren Automotive for whom the 36-year-old works as an official development driver. Those duties mainly involve testing road cars, but he has also sampled the marque’s new GT4 machine.
However, it was actually through Marsh that the opportunity to compete in British GT came about.
“I hadn’t shut the door on racing but it certainly wasn’t something I was chasing either,” he said. “Richard and I raced together in 2000 but met again by chance a couple of years ago. We stayed in touch, just chatting about motorsport really. We would idly discuss racing together but it wasn’t until he tested the car and spoke with In2Racing that the opportunity to actually do it became more realistic. I spent two years developing the 570 road car and have previously tested the GT4 but don’t know it that well.
“I travel a lot in the week with my day job so I wouldn’t be doing this unless I thought the team, Richard and I could be competitive and build a proper Pro/Am partnership. I’m new to GT racing but, from what I’ve heard, you’re only as competitive as your Am. Fortunately I see a lot of potential in Richard.”
Marsh, meanwhile, has raced in a variety of categories since stepping away from the BTCC at the end of 2007. His CV already includes four British GT outings - in 2008 at the wheel of a Chad Peninsula Racing Ferrari 430 GT3 alongside Anthony Reid - but this will be his first time campaigning GT4 machinery.
“The McLaren looks like the car to have this year and it’s also an iconic brand, so this is an ideal opportunity for me to go racing properly again,” he said. “I certainly didn’t want to do it half-heartedly and having Gareth with me proves that. We’re a proper Pro/Am pairing and although he’s been out of racing for a while I’ve no doubt he’ll be one of the class benchmarks this year.”
It’s understood that an opportunity still exists for a driver to join In2Racing’s second McLaren, which already features a driver with recent front-running British GT experience.
This season’s British GT Championship gets underway at Oulton Park on April 15/17. Click here to purchase tickets - Adult prices start at just £19 and under-13s go free!
Plus, don’t forget there’s free general admission to our Media Day, which will be held at Snetterton on March 28!
DID YOU KNOW?
Marsh and Howell raced against each other in the Ford Fiesta Zetec Championship in 2000, a season that also featured two future BTCC champions: Gordon Shedden and Colin Turkington.