Pfaff Motorsports will become a McLaren manufacturer-nominated entrant in the GTD PRO class in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship as it switches from Porsche to fielding a 720S GT3 Evo. The entry will mark McLaren’s first foray into GTD PRO, with activations planned at future events to increase the brand’s exposure and reaffirm its commitment to the IMSA platform.
The Canadian team has won championships two of the last three years in IMSA competition, claiming the GTD title in 2021 with Zacharie Robichon and Laurens Vanthoor and the inaugural GTD PRO title last season with Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet. The Toronto-based team has been associated with Porsche since its entry into IMSA competition in 2019, but Pfaff also has a long history with the McLaren brand.
Pfaff Automotive Partners is the official importer for McLaren in Canada, and owns and operates McLaren retail locations in Toronto and Vancouver. The company has co-created two special-edition vehicles for Canada with McLaren Special Operations and has also won the McLaren Retailer of the Year award. Lithia Motors Inc., the parent company of the Pfaff dealerships and title partner Driveway.com, also has a global footprint with the brand, and owns several McLaren retail points in the U.S. and the United Kingdom.
“Pfaff has been proud to represent McLaren in Canada since 2012; our partnership with the brand has spanned road and track for many years,” said Chris Pfaff, Pfaff Automotive Partners President and CEO. “Adopting the 720S GT3 Evo platform for the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship demonstrates our confidence in McLaren as a business, a racing partner, and retail partner. We’re excited about the future of the McLaren brand, and excited to be part of building that future with them.”
On the competition side, Pfaff and McLaren are no strangers to on-track success. McLaren Toronto General Manager Chris Green has driven a 570S GT4 in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series, and Pfaff Motorsports also leveraged the 570S GT4 to win the 2022 FEL Sports Car Championship Canada GT4 Class in 2022 with Zachary Vanier.
“We are delighted to have Pfaff Motorsports onboard as one of our racing partners,” said Ian Morgan, Director of Motorsport, McLaren Automotive. “The IMSA series is one of the highest-profile GT championships in the world, and to be working with a team with whom we have a strong and established history, both on and off the race track, is fantastic news. We look forward to supporting the team with their GTD Pro campaign and building on the strong relationship, as well as the McLaren brand in North America.”
McLaren has been represented in the WeatherTech Championship in recent years by Inception Racing, which has campaigned a 720S GT3 in GTD. Crucial Motorsports has also raced a GTD-class 720S GT3 in a few events. Motorsports In Action is running an Artura GT4 in the Michelin Pilot Challenge. Pfaff’s single-car effort in GTD PRO, however, brings the supercar manufacturer to a new level in IMSA competition.
“Pfaff Motorsports is proud to partner with McLaren in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship starting in 2024 – and we want to make the latest chapter in McLaren’s iconic racing history an exciting one,” said Pfaff Motorsports General Manager Steve Bortolotti. “We look forward to building an increased presence at IMSA events with them next season, and sharing the thrill of sportscar racing with their passionate road car customers at the track and at their retail stores.”
Drivers will be named at a later date, but a McLaren factory driver is expected to be on the roster. Pfaff expects to receive its 720S GT3 Evo sometime after the December homologation test, but in plenty of time to do some testing ahead of the Roar Before the 24 at Daytona in January.
Pfaff is looking to close out its 2023 season and its run with Porsche by securing second place in the GTD PRO championship at this weekend’s Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.