Indy 500 winner Kenny Brack joins McLaren as chief test driver
With F1, F3000, IndyCar and rallying all on his CV, it looks like McLaren Automotive has found its perfect new chief test driver
Kenny Brack, who won the Indianapolis 500 in 1999, has joined McLaren Automotive as its chief test driver following Chris Goodwin’s departure to Aston Martin.
Brack has been affiliated with McLaren for some time now and acted as a driver consultant during the engineering programmes of the 720S and Senna track-day car. In addition he drove a McLaren F1 GTR long tail at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed plus a P1 LM two years later.
Then in 2017, Brack set a lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife for road-legal cars of 6min43.22s, also in a P1 LM.
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As chief test driver, Brack replaces Chris Goodwin who has moved over to Aston Martin to assist with the development of the LMP1 prototype-inspired Valkyrie, as designed by Formula 1 aerodynamics ace Adrian Newey.
Brack said: ‘It is a great gift to be able to work with your passion and break new boundaries, and to have the opportunity to work with the highly skilled and determined team at McLaren Automotive is just fantastic.
‘I am driven by a desire to win, to achieve results; for me, the key dynamic traits needed to explore my own limits and those of a vehicle on a race track are predictability and consistency.’
He narrowly missed out on a Formula 3000 title while serving as test driver to the Arrows F1 team, but Brack went on to win the 1998 Indy Racing League championship – following the series’ breakaway from CART.
At the Texas Motor Speedway in 2003 Brack famously suffered a 214g crash after his and Tomas Scheckter’s cars locked wheels. His injuries included breaks to his sternum, femur, shattering a vertebra in his spine and crushing his ankles.
Although it took him 18 months to recover, Brack returned to the series in 2005 before appearing in a variety of historics races and rallies after his retirement as a professional driver.
Dr. Jens Ludmann, chief operating officer at McLaren Automotive, added: ‘Kenny’s record as a formidable first-class racing driver – which includes winning an IndyCar Championship and the Indianapolis 500 – speaks for itself, but I believe his talents as a development driver are even more impressive and make him the ideal person to lead the team shaping the way that McLaren cars drive.’
Pictures courtesy of Motorsport Images
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