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Gulf Racing UK Confirms Driver Line-up

One Pro, One Pro-Am Car for 2013 Blancpain Endurance Series

The Gulf Racing UK team’s second consecutive on the Blancpain Endurance Series will feture a hugely impressive new driver line-up for the 2013 season.

The UK-based GT team will again run two McLaren 12C GT3s, but will this year field a car apiece in the Pro and Pro-Am categories.

The #9 Pro car will see McLaren GT factory driver Rob Bell joined by a new addition to the McLaren factory roster, the swift and popular Adam Carroll.  The two McLaren Factory men will be joined by 2009 Formula Le Mans Champion and former Triple H and Vita4One GT driver Nico Verdonck.

The team’s Pro-Am entry will see the team’s co-owner Mike Wainwright rejoined by ex Aston Martin factory driver Andy Meyrick, who raced for the team at selected rounds last year.

Rob Bell:

“We showed good pace throughout last year, and had a strong end to the season. The car was consistent and competitive, and I am excited by the new line-up we have, so It should be an interesting year”

As part of his role as a factory driver with McLaren GT, Bell has also been involved with the development programme for the 12C GT3 during the off-season, and feels that significant improvements have been made:

“The 12C GT3 had some really impressive results throughout the year, and became the car to beat during the latter half of the year, despite being in its debut season. We have worked hard to move things forward, and the 2013 upgrades look to have made an even more well-balanced, competitive package.”

Adam Carroll was announced today as a works driver with McLaren GT, and he joins Gulf Racing UK having showed impressive pace in the select rounds of the Blancpain Endurance Series he competed in last year.

”It is great to be involved with McLaren GT, and to join such an iconic team as Gulf Racing UK for 2013. The blue and orange liveried cars have such a fantastic heritage in motorsport, and it’s a real honour to now be part of that. I had a taste of what the Blancpain Endurance Series was like last year, and I loved it, so I am really looking forward to getting back out on track, and competing in the full calendar with the 12C GT3.”

Nico Verdonck moves to Gulf Racing UK after a full BES season last year in a McLaren for the Belgian Boutsen Ginion team:

“It was clear last year that the McLaren is a competitive and reliable car, and I am happy to be back behind the wheel of the 12C GT3, and looking forward to trying the revised 2013 car. I am also delighted to be driving for Gulf Racing as It will also be a very special experience to race in the iconic Gulf livery because of its great motor racing heritage.

Commenting on his teammates for the season, Verdonck add: “It’s great to be given the opportunity to drive for Gulf Racing and to race beside two other top class Pro drivers from McLaren GT. I am sure that our combined experience and speed will enable us to extract the maximum performance from the 12C GT3. I feel, we have all the ingredients to perform strongly and challenge for victories and the championship. I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel and I am looking forward to the first race in Monza”

Swiss-based British driver Mike Wainwright contested the 2012 season alongside Rob Bell, and is confident that the new driver line-ups will be a force to be reckoned with this season:

“With the addition of the Pro Car my new Pro driver will be Andy Meyrick. Andy raced with us last year at Spa and already knows the team well. My approach is unlikely to change, with an aim being to continue to gain experience and hopefully some successes. I am sure Andy, and all the Pro drivers, will add significant value in this area. I am also confident that the Pro driver line up is of level to achieve wins and the championship, and that is our number one goal as a team this year. All new drivers bring quality experience, past successes and importantly a team ethic which is fundamental to our approach.

“Our test programme continues this week in Aragon. On the development side, the car has had extensive improvements through knowledge gained last year, which we hope makes the car more competitive, and for myself, even easier to drive.”

Andy Meyrick:

“It's great to be back with Gulf Racing for the full 2013 season. I have known the team for a few seasons now and made my race debut with them alongside Rob and Mike at last year’s Spa 24hr. I feel totally at home within the team and believe that we can have a strong season. Mike is a great team mate – incredibly ambitious and focused to improve this season, and I am sure that he will become one of the strongest ‘Am’ drivers on the grid.

“Gulf Racing has some extremely ambitious plans for the future and it is certainly an exciting time for the team. In terms of the 2013 season everybody at the team are aware of how competitive the Blancpain series is , however I am sure that we will have a competitive package. From the moment the McLaren 12C GT3 first raced it was clear to see that it was a fast racing car. Since then, McLaren GT has evidently worked extremely hard to make the 12C an exceptional car both for amateur and professional drivers in terms of speed and also reliability. It's an added bonus to have such a car in the iconic Gulf Racing colours,which are always a fan favourite.”

Gulf Racing UK Team co-owner Roald Goethe, who will campaign the Gulf Racing Aston Martin Vantage run by Aston Martin Racing during 2013, is proud of the work that the team has put in over the winter months as they prepare to complete the move from its current home in Bookham, Surrey to a new dedicated facility in Milton Keynes before the start of the season. The new purpose-built 10,000 sq ft facility will offer full driver training, including a state-of-the-art 360-degree simulator, gym and physio suite.

“We have been very busy behind-the-scenes since the last race in Navarra, with new personnel joining and preparations for moving to our new home. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dave Price for all of his hard work and dedication to the team over the years, and welcome Matt Beers into the fold as our new team manager. Matt brings a wealth of experience with him, gained through LMP and GT racing, and I am confident he will enhance the team further, and help us build on what we have already put in place to secure success this year.”

Commenting on his recent appointment as team manager for Gulf Racing UK, Matt Beers explained:

“Working for Gulf Racing UK is an exciting opportunity for me to help build on what has already been established as a strong team foundation. There is a lot of potential in the team and this season we plan to start realising that

The commitment to the Blancpain Endurance Series and running competitive Pro and Am entries is testament to that underlying plan as it is so competitive, and a tough environment to prove yourself but we want that challenge.

“The team also has some exciting plans and ambitions moving forward, and it is great to be part of that and help to make it happen. We are looking to add to an already great heritage as the Gulf Racing legacy is quite something and so we have to work hard to do it justice. That really is the key for me – putting in the extra effort – to do something special – the people in the team are ready and willing to do that.”

Gulf Racing UK will continue pre-season preparations with a rigorous testing programme with the 12C GT3 in the lead up to the season opener at Monza, Italy over the weekend 12-14 April 2013.