The McLaren Automotive Driver Development Programme enters its third year in 2020 and, once again, will see four of the most exciting youngsters in motorsport fighting for top honours at the wheel of a McLaren 570S GT4. Having been shortlisted after an impressive 2019 season, Michael Benyahia shone during the assessment programme to secure one of the coveted race seats for the 2020 season.
The final four drivers were selected from a shortlisted group of 18 young, talented, up-and-coming drivers during an intensive two-day process. The names were from a diverse range of motorsport backgrounds who have each individually impressed in their respective 2019 campaigns across the UK, Europe, North America and Australia.
The programme was held at the UK’s Snetterton circuit, and saw the drivers assessed across a number of different attributes on and off-track. Each participant arrived at the circuit with the programme set up to simulate a race weekend, working with the McLaren Customer Racing engineers on set up before embarking on qualifying and race simulations.
After the track running, the drivers were then individually assessed on data analysis and telemetry, working with the engineering team and driver coaches. Off track, each of the drivers were subjected to a mental and physical assessment with media interviews carried out in conjunction with the team from motorsport.com and fitness tests run by programme partner iZone.
The results from these independent specialists was key to the assessment, and the feedback forms the start of the drivers’ involvement with the Driver Development Programme. The selected drivers will continue to build on these relationships with motorsport.com and iZone throughout the 2020 season, along with McLaren Customer Racing as they each look to further establish themselves and build a strong foundation for a future career in motorsport.
Michael Benyahia is from Miami, Florida, and he will race a McLaren for a second year in 2020 after strong performances in the ADAC GT4 Germany championship at the wheel of the 570S GT4 with Team GT.
Of particular note was his race performance with Team GT at the Nürburgring where the 19-year old took race victory.
The 2019 season saw Michael make the switch to GT racing after taking the runners-up spot in Formula F4 in 2016, followed by being crowned 2017 Formula Renault NEC champion.
The McLaren Automotive Driver Development Programme is partnered with Prosource, Richard Mille and Pirelli once again for the 2020 season.