KELTY race ace Dean MacDonald continued his promising start to life as a McLaren GT driver with a solid third round at Rockingham.
The 16-year-old made the jump from karting – in which he won multiple British titles – in March when he joined the McLaren GT Driver Academy, which is designed to provide a pathway for youngsters to make the move into sports cars.
MacDonald was one of six newcomers brought into an expanded academy – now in its third year – as part of the official McLaren team in the GT4 Championship, and a good opening two rounds saw him sit sixth in the driver standings.
The West Fifer, part of McLaren's Black Bull Garage 59 line-up, was the first driver out for the team in qualifying and, following a combined effort, started from 10th on the grid.
After a few adjustments to his car overnight MacDonald felt it was better in the practice sessions ahead of the two-hour race and he had aims on improving on 10th place before the handover to his team-mate, Akhil Rabindra.
A clean start was made and at times he was faster than the car leading the race, but the gap was just too big for MacDonald to bridge as the pit stop approached, with the teenager placing the car in fifth position before refuelling and the change over.
Rabindra took over and maintained the momentum, bringing the car home in fourth place, with end result being a good points haul from MacDonald and a significant step up from round one at Oulton Park in Cheshire.
The results took him up from sixth in the standings to fifth, and up to third from fourth in the GT4 Silver Cup, which is aimed at young professionals and aims to bridge the gap to full Pro/Am crews.
The youngster, who expressed his thanks to sponsor Advance Construction Scotland, will be aiming for higher for rounds four and five at Snetterton, which takes place on May 27-28, with each race being a one hour session.
The GT4 class of competition, in which MacDonald races in a McLaren 570s car that can accelerate from 0-124mph in just 9.5 seconds, is held simultaneously with the GT3 version, and has regulations that ensure cars more closely resemble their road-going counterparts than GT3 machines.