Garage 59 has assembled two strong driver line-ups for the team’s first races with the McLaren 720S GT3. The team took delivery of two brand new cars ahead of the Christmas break, which are now fully prepped and liveried, bearing the #59 and #88 race numbers and ready to compete in the Asian Le Mans Series, which gets underway in Dubai on February 12th.
The team is pleased to welcome three new drivers for the Asian Le Mans Series: Frank Bird, Manuel Maldonado and James Vowles.
British racer, Frank Bird, has a wide breadth of racing experience, from the junior single-seater categories to GT racing and rallying, most recently competing in the GT World Challenge Europe.
Venezuelan Maldonado has come up through the ranks of single-seater racing before moving into sportscars in 2020. He has great form in Asian Le Mans, winning the LMP3 class of the series last year after taking the victory in both Dubai races and one of the Abu Dhabi races.
James Vowles is more familiar with a seat on the pit wall than in a race car as he is Chief Strategist for the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team. The timing of the Asian Le Mans Series provides James with a great opportunity to enjoy motorsport from the driving seat before going back to his day job for the start of the Formula 1 season.
#59 McLaren 720S GT3: Nicolai Kjærgaard - Manuel Maldonado - James Vowles
#88 McLaren 720S GT3: Alexander West - Marvin Kirchhöfer - Frank Bird
The #59 McLaren will be raced in the Asian Le Mans Series by Danish driver and Garage 59 regular, Nicolai Kjærgaard, who will be joined by Manuel Maldonado and James Vowles.
Alexander West grabbed his first podium of the season at the second of the two Asian Le Mans races in Dubai last year. He makes his return to the Asian Le Mans Series in 2022, racing the #88 McLaren 720S GT3 with Marvin Kirchhöfer and Frank Bird.
German racer and McLaren works driver, Kirchhöfer, made his debut with Garage 59 at the Ricard 1000kms in 2020 where his blistering run to the chequered flag sealed a GT World Challenge Europe championship win for the team.
Garage 59 Team Principal, Andrew Kirkaldy said: “I’m really happy with the driver line-ups we’ve secured for Asian Le Mans. We’re all looking forward to getting started with the McLaren 720S and hopefully getting our first win of the season. For sure it will also be handy to have one of F1’s best strategists in the team.”
The 2022 Asian Le Mans Series gets underway in at the Dubai Autodrome on February 12th.