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McLaren signs Kirchhofer to factory GT deal

McLaren has signed former GP3 frontrunner Marvin Kirchhofer as a factory GT driver for next season.

#77 Callaway Competition CorvetteC7 GT3-R: Marvin Kirchhöfer

#77 Callaway Competition CorvetteC7 GT3-R: Marvin Kirchhöfer

Alexander Trienitz

The 27-year-old German has agreed his first manufacturer deal following five seasons of GT racing after calling time on a single-seater career that included two third-place championship finishes in GP3 in 2014 and 2015.

His successes in the GT3 arena include a second-place finish in the Bathurst 12 Hours and a GT World Challenge Europe victory in 2019, as well as third place in the ADAC GT Master series in Germany in 2018.

Kirchhofer has joined a McLaren factory roster that includes Britons Rob Bell and Joe Osborne for 2022, but McLaren has yet to announce his programme for next season.

It can be expected that his race outings will be focussed on the British manufacturer's 720S GT3 car.

Kirchhofer said: "Joining the McLaren family is really special.

"I’m incredibly proud to be racing and representing McLaren as a factory driver.

"I want to thank everyone involved who helped me to join such an amazing brand - words can’t describe how happy I am right now!"

Ian Morgan, director of motorsport at McLaren Automotive, added: “It’s tremendously exciting for us to welcome Marvin on board.

"For several seasons he has shown exceptional talent, speed, and the correct team mentality required in GT racing."

Kirchhofer finished second in the 2019 Bathurst 12 Hours

Kirchhofer finished second in the 2019 Bathurst 12 Hours

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

Kirchhofer finished third in the GT Masters in 2018 sharing a Callaway Corvette C7 GT3.R with Daniel Keilwitz, the same year that he joined the R-Motorsport Aston Martin squad for the first time.

He went on to contest a full season with the Swiss entrant, whose Astons were jointly run by the British Jota and Arden teams, the following year.

The runner-up spot at the Bathurst 12 Hours Intercontinental GT Challenge round sharing an Aston Martin V12 Vantage with Jake Dennis and Matthieu Vaxiviere was followed by a GT World Challenge Europe sprint win at the Nurburgring driving a new Vantage GT3 together with Ricky Collard.

Kirchhofer was set to continue full-time with R-Motorsport in 2020 and raced at Bathurst again in February of that year before the programme came to an end.

Last year, he returned to GT Masters with Callaway, winning one race, and also competed in the Asian Le Mans Series with the Garage 59 Aston team.

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