K-PAX Racing has replaced Kevin Estre and Robert Thorne with a three-driver lineup for the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge season.
The team’s three McLaren 650S GT3s will be raced by McLaren GT factory driver Alvaro Parente, McLaren GT academy driver Colin Thompson, and Austin Cindric, who finished sixth in Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge in 2015.
K-PAX will again partner with Flying Lizard Motorsports for engineering, crew and marketing services.
"This is going to be our year," said K-PAX Racing owner Jim Haughey, who saw his team rack up four wins and contend for the Pirelli World Challenge GT title last season. "The McLaren 650S GT3 is such a powerful car, and with this driver lineup, we're fully confident we'll be at the front.
“Alvaro has proven his speed in Europe, and Colin impressed McLaren GT enough to be taken into its Driver Academy. And Austin has the experience to build on for a very impressive year.
“This year, we have everything it will take to represent McLaren at the forefront of sports car racing in North America."
Last year, 17-year-old Cindric made impressive debuts in the Bathurst 12 Hours and the NASCAR Camping World Trucks series, as well as his full-season campaign in CTSCC and he scored four wins in the Red Bull Global RallyCross Lites Series.
He said: “I grew up watching ALMS, so having the chance to drive for K-PAX Racing with the support of Flying Lizard this early in my career is a massive opportunity.
“I know firsthand about how competitive Pirelli World Challenge can be from my experience at Mid-Ohio last year in the GTA Class. I also know how strong the McLaren 650S GT3 is from racing door to door with it last year during that event. I can't wait to get started.
Parente, who won the 2005 British Fornula 3 championship and the ’07 World Series by Renault title became an official McLaren GT factory driver in 2011.
He commented: “Taking part in the Pirelli World Challenge is a new and exciting challenge for me as it is a new environment, with new circuits and opponents.
“However, I'm very confident, as I know K-PAX Racing is a very competitive and professional team that will support me throughout the season. Last, but not the least, the McLaren 650S GT3 has already proven to be a very competitive machine and I'm sure that McLaren GT will give us the means to keep that trend.”
Thompson, who won the 2014 IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup title and the 2015 Pirelli World Challenge Porsche Cup championship, was recommended to McLaren GT by Flying Lizard and following a test with the factory at Paul Ricard, the American was invited to be a McLaren GT Academy Driver.
“Joining K-PAX Racing for 2016 is really a special opportunity and a big step for my career,” said Thompson. “The McLaren is a really cool car, one of the most natural and intuitive cars to drive. It's going to make the transition easier to race at the top and be there for the win.”
The team will test with the three cars and drivers later this month at Circuit of The Americas before the PWC season starts there March 3-6.