Ben joins Brendan Iribe and Ollie Millroy at the wheel of the Optimum Motorsport-supported McLaren 720S GT3, as the Yorkshire-based team continues an extensive campaign in the region. The championship takes place at the Dubai Autodrome and Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit, with a pair of 4-hour events at each venue.
Ben joins Inception Racing after taking victory during his first event of 2021 at the Gulf 12 Hours in Bahrain. The McLaren Factory Driver is now looking to continue this run of form with the McLaren 720S GT3 as he takes on this latest challenge in the Middle East.
Despite the extensive successes achieved in single-seater and GT competition so far in his career, the opening two rounds of the series over the weekend 13-14 February will see Ben make his first appearance in Dubai. He will have to put his skills of learning new tracks to good use but arrives at the track in a strong position and benefitting from extensive race data after Inception Racing with Optimum recently took the 720S GT3 to its first ever 24-hour endurance race finish at the Dubai Autodrome.
The following weekend, 19-20 February, will see Ben in more familiar surroundings as the championship concludes with rounds 3 and 4 at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. Ben previously impressed around the iconic Formula 1 circuit when he debuted the all-new McLaren GT3 car at the Gulf 12 Hours event in 2018 as part of its development programme sign-off, scoring an impressive front row grid slot and a top-5 finish. Ben’s teammates Brendan Iribe and Ollie Millroy also go into the event with the benefit of extensive knowledge of the circuit, having claimed a podium earlier this month with the McLaren in the 6 Hours of Abu Dhabi.
This latest announcement also marks Ben’s second appearance in the Asian Le Mans Series, having made his championship debut last season competing in the LMP2 class. During the winter of 2019/2020, the young Brit took part in the series in its regular format at circuits across Asia, scoring two pole positions and took two outright race victories on his way to second in the championship, missing out on the title by a single point.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Inception Racing, and to be returning to the Asian Le Mans Series, this time with the 720S GT3. I have followed the team closely since they joined the McLaren family, and the results with the 720S GT3 speak for themselves. Brendan and Ollie showed themselves to be a very competitive pairing with the team throughout last season, and they just get stronger with each event scoring great results at the Dubai 24 Hour and Abu Dhabi 6 Hours.
When I first began my karting career, Ollie was right at the top of his game as one of the British karting stars at the time. He was always one of the drivers I aspired to be like, so it’s going to be great to share a car with him now.”
“I am really looking forward to the challenge of learning a new circuit in Dubai and being back racing at Yas Marina which is one of my favourite tracks. The results and experiences gained by Brendan, Ollie and the team will also be hugely beneficial to me over the course of the four races with significant amounts of data, and I feel that as a team we are going to be one of the strongest cars on the grid so will be pushing for strong results.”