International GT racing star Chris van der Drift has been confirmed as Glenn Smith’s co-driver for this Golden Homes North Island Endurance Series in the defending title-winning McLaren 650S GT3.
The opening round of the series kicks off this coming Saturday at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, with officials confirming earlier this week that 200 fans will be able to attend the meeting.
While van der Drift is more known these days for his exploits in Porsches, having won the Carrera Cup Asia title three times since 2015, hopping behind the wheel of a McLaren represents a return to his GT3 roots.
“It’s been a few years that I’ve had the chance to race in the motherland but thanks to Glenn, John and SBT Motorsport I’ll be steering this weapon this weekend in the North Island Endurance Series,” van der Drift said on social media.
“My first ever GT3 race was in the McLaren MP4 12-C and now a few years later back I’m back in the 650S.
“2020 has been a very strange year and the longest amount of time I’ve been out of a race car so super lucky to be able to race again and so close to home.”
The announcement further underlines the McLaren entry as a three-hour title threat, against the likes of Andrew Fawcett and Sam Fillmore’s Audi R8 LMS Ultra GT3 and the Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 of Alex Riberas and Darren Kelly.
The latter is fresh from winning last weekend’s opening round of the Carters Tyres South Island Endurance Series — a feat achieved by just over half a second from International Motorsport’s Audi R8 driven by Jonny Reid and Neil Foster.