Parente joins AusGT field for Hampton Downs

The McLaren 650S GT3 Fraser Ross and Alvaro Parente will race

McLaren factory driver Alvaro Parente will partner Fraser Ross at the Australian Endurance Championship race this weekend at Hampton Downs for YNA Autosport/McElrea Racing.

The Portuguese driver was confirmed by the team in what will be his first Australian GT start, having previously won the Bathurst 12 Hour with Tekno Autosport in 2016.

Parente is also fresh from a podium finish in the California 8 Hours at Laguna Seca two weekends ago, where he drove the K-Pax Racing McLaren to third place.

“To have Alvaro is a big boost, not just for the team but for myself to be partnered with him,” said Ross, who won his maiden Australian GT race at Sandown last month in the final round of the sprint championship.

“We met at the Bathurst 12 Hour, and we’ve spoken all year – he sent me a nice text after I won at Sandown, which was really good!

“I’ve a really good rapport with him, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

The pair will the share the McLaren 650S GT3 Ross has piloted all season, which sports a new livery for the weekend.

The revised design features the original McLaren Racing Team logo from the early 1960s on the roof as the team pays homage to the marque’s New Zealand founder Bruce McLaren.

“I think it’s fantastic to go back where McLaren originated from with this livery, I’m a big fan of McLaren so it’s great,” Ross added.

“To have this level of heritage with a race car, and a factory driver like Alvaro, is really a highlight of my career.”

The Hampton Downs 500 begins on Sunday at 10:30 AEDT, with a livestream of the event on Speedcafe.com.

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