Record number of victories for works McLaren GT driver Kevin Estre on both sides of the Atlantic

Kévin Estre - Bilan 2015
Kévin Estre - Bilan 2015


Newsletter Kevin Estre #6-2015 - 14 October
Blancpain Endurance Series and Pirelli World Challenge end of season review.

In 2015 Kevin Estre has taken part in two championships on both sides of the Atlantic as a works McLaren GT driver. In Europe he finished fourth in the Blancpain Endurance Series scoring the highest number of victories, two out of five, with his team-mates Shane Van Gisbergen and Rob Bell. He was fifth in the Pirelli World Challenge in the United States and Canada in sprint races, and shared the record for the number of victories - four - with series champion Johnny O’Connell.

The driver from Lyon had a particularly successful early part of the year. Between 26th April and 31st May, he scored six top-3 finishes in as many weekends and criss-crossed the Atlantic six times in the same period. He then took part in the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time after which he had a summer from hell. In September he fought back scoring two victories.

This year Estre drove a McLaren 650S GT3 for the Von Ryan team in the Blancpain Endurance Series. At the end of June in the French round on the Paul Ricard circuit the team’s race ended on the first lap when Rob Bell was harpooned by an over-optimistic rival! “This early retirement in a 1000-km event with an increased coefficient probably cost us the title. We also retired in the Spa 24 Hours a month later, but the majority of our rivals didn’t meet with much success in Belgium either,” analysed Kevin who set a stunning second-fastest time in the Superpole on the Spa roller-coaster. Thanks to an impeccable strategy and performance by its drivers, the Von Ryan squad enjoyed a brilliant revenge at the Nürburgring by winning the last round of the championship despite starting from a lowly 24th place on the grid.

In the Pirelli World Challenge the Frenchman and his American team K-Pax with Flying Lizard Motorsports had their ups and downs. “I punctured three times at Road America for example. But the Miller Motorsports Park weekend was our biggest disappointment of the year. The circuit is 1500 meters above sea level and the organisers imposed a completely unrealistic turbo pressure on our McLaren 650S GT3. We had no choice but to withdraw!” Fortunately, the closing stages of Estre’s season in the PWC were more upbeat with a victory and a second place at Sonoma, a circuit close to his team’s base.

The results of a season comprising 24 meetings, including three 24-Hour events, in nine countries for seven teams was 11 top-3 finishes including 6 victories. All this enriching experience is preparing the ground for an even more exciting future!