Paddy McClughan rises to take on fellow Ulsterman Boyd
Wayne Boyd will have a fellow Ulsterman sharing the grid with him when he takes to the track for the second round of the European Le Mans Series at Imola this weekend.
Paddy McClughan, a 20-year-old from Jordanstown, has joined the Murphy Prototypes team and will drive a Nissan-powered Oreca 03R in the four-hour race at the former San Marino Grand Prix circuit.
McClughan, a Belfast Met student, has been climbing through the racing ranks, starting in Ginetta Juniors before making a big impact in last year's Radical Sprint championship where he scored 12 victories in 21 races.
It was a performance which saw him win the Sunoco Challenge award and a trip to the United States to drive a Ford Mustang at Daytona. He was recently signed up to race for the Radical factory team in this season's European Masters series.
Now McClughan is taking another step up to Le Mans prototype racing with the Irish-owned Murphy team, sharing the LMP2 Oreca with Sean Doyle and Englishman Garry Findlay at Imola.
Former British Formula Ford champion Boyd, from Templepatrick, is preparing for his second race with the United Autosports team following an outstanding debut at Silverstone.
The United Autosports LMP3 Ligiers finished one-two with Boyd sharing the second-placed car with Matt Bell and Mark Patterson. After funding issues had kept him on the sidelines, Boyd, now 25, was thrilled with his belated sportscar debut.
"To get straight onto the podium in P2 was fantastic. I couldn't have asked for a better start," he said. "Our test this year was my first time at Imola and we had a fantastic few days. We showed good pace so I feel quietly confident. I'm looking forward to getting back behind the wheel."