Hutchison, a multiple podium finisher in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Endurance Cup, has been drafted in to partner Moroccan racer Michael Benyahia, who is part of the McLaren Driver Development programme.
Travelling out to Spain today, 22-year-old Hutchison is relishing the prospect of driving Optimum’s No.4 McLaren 720S GT3 car in the Pro category – marking the Scotsman’s return to the marque for the first time since 2018, although his first race experience of the GT3 McLaren.
Hutchison previously raced a McLaren in 2017 and 2018, the 570S GT4 car, and during his second year he was a race winner in the British GT4 Championship and a double race winner in the GT4 European Series, having dovetailed both programmes. He ended the European campaign fourth in the championship standings.
“I can’t wait to get out to Barcelona, it’s a great opportunity to race the GT3 McLaren and to also make my debut in the International GT Open which has become a really strong championship”, said Hutchison, “I’m very grateful to the guys at Optimum for drafting me into the car for the weekend alongside Michael [Benyahia] and I’m hopeful we will put together a strong weekend.
“I’ve obviously got experience of working with McLaren from back in the GT4 days, but this will be my first race experience in the GT3 car so I’m really looking forward to it. From what I’ve seen, it looks a great car to drive and is fast. There are some really strong drivers in International GT Open, guys I’ve raced against in GT World Challenge, so the competition will be high. Let’s get started!”
With a grid of 26 cars expected for the weekend’s action in Spain, the final two races of the International GT Open season will feature eight different manufacturers with the Optimum McLaren up against Audi, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Honda, Lamborghini, Mercedes and Porsche.
Race one on Saturday will be contested over a duration of 70 minutes, while Sunday’s encounter will be over one hour. Optimum’s sister car, shared by Nick Moss and Joe Osborne, goes into the event challenging for the championship title – the British duo are currently in second place, just four points shy of the series lead.
Hutchison’s first track time will come during free practice at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday, 14th October, with qualifying for race one getting underway on Saturday at 09.30 UK time, the race following at 14.05 UK time.
Sunday’s qualifying session will be held at 08.00 UK time with the race starting at 12.10 UK time. Both contests will be streamed live online here: https://www.youtube.com/user/GTOPENseries