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Parente signed as McLaren GT tester

Former British Formula 3 champion and GP2 race-winner Alvaro Parente will be part of the test and development team for McLaren's new MP4-12C GT3 car.

The 26-year-old Portuguese driver will share initial testing duties with McLaren development driver Chris Goodwin and project manager Andrew Kirkaldy - whose CRS team will support McLaren's GT3 racing programme.

"It is a great honour to be selected to drive with the McLaren GT team," said Parente. "Since receiving an invitation to join the team by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team principal Martin Whitmarsh, I have been made to feel like an important part of the team and I hope to give valuable feedback in developing the car. I have always dreamt of racing a McLaren!"

While mainly focusing on single-seater series GP2 and Superleague Formula in recent years, Parente has also been active in GT racing - both in Spanish domestic series and in the Le Mans Series in an AF Corse GT2 Ferrari.

McLaren also ran the new GT3 machine for the first time in tests at MIRA and Silverstone last week.

"We have an extensive list of subjective and objective development target areas set for the MP4-12C GT3," said Kirkaldy. "in the first tests, the car is achieving excellent results in many areas including handling, powertrain and other aspects of dynamic performance."

"Having experienced the new set-up in the 12C GT3 car, I'm delighted with the progress we are making."

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McLaren GT car set for Spanish debut