July 26, 2011

Mclaren MP4-12C Attack Spa 24 Hours.

I don't have to reming Axis readers about what happened first time Mclaren brought a modified version of their road car to a 24 hour race... This coming week end, three Mclaren MP4 GT3s will compete in the Ardennes classic. What enquiring minds want to know is just how modified, suspension and electronics wise, the GT3 version is over the read ca, a carr which has gotten a fair amount of criticism by some about its, shall we say, controlling dynamics.

In any case, the race car looks stunning and Mclaren is smart enough to know that a proper super car needs a racing pedigree not just fancy flaps (which it has), a fancy dash (check) and a name that slips off the tongue (Huayrawmpf)!

More pix and full press info after the jump.


Ten drivers to compete in three MP4-12C GT3 race cars at Spa-Francorchamps on 30-31 July.

12C GT3 is the first race car converted from a McLaren road car to make a 24 hour race debut since the McLaren F1 GTR at Le Mans in 1995.

McLaren GT customer VonRyan Racing to manage third MP4-12C GT3 in Pro-Am Cup category.

McLaren GT returns to the Spa-Francorchamps circuit this weekend for Total 24 Hours of Spa, following a successful race debut there in the British GT Championship early in July. The second race in the MP4-12C GT3’s development programme will see ten experienced racing drivers pilot three cars in the 12C GT3’s first ever 24 hour race.

The McLaren GT driver line-up for the Total 24 Hours of Spa includes CRS Racing Team Principal Andrew Kirkaldy and McLaren Automotive Chief Test driver Chris Goodwin. Both are Directors of the new McLaren GT company, which is led by McLaren Group CEO Martin Whitmarsh and includes McLaren Racing Head of Vehicle Engineering Mark Williams.

McLaren MP4-12C GT3 drivers for Total 24 Hours of Spa:

Pro-Cup category

Car 58 (McLaren GT):
Rob Bell - GB
Chris Goodwin - GB
Tim Mullen – GB

Car 59 (McLaren GT):
Andrew Kirkaldy - GB
Álvaro Parente - POR
Oliver Turvey - GB

Pro-Am Cup category

Car 60 (McLaren GT and VonRyan Racing):
Adam Christodoulou - GB
Glynn Geddie – GB
Phil Quaife - GB
Roger Wills – NZL

McLaren GT is using the 2011 race season to develop the 12C GT3, with 20 cars due for delivery to privateer teams for GT3 series racing in 2012. Chris Goodwin said: “I was very happy with the performance of the 12C GT3 in its debut race at Spa. We secured an amazing pole position at the first attempt and importantly for future customers; the 12C GT3 was reliable, fast and easy to drive.

“I’m delighted with the quality of the drivers we have enlisted as we take the 12C GT3 to its first 24 hour race. This level of endurance racing is a crucial test for the car technically, and we need the best possible team working with us to ensure we receive intelligent, objective feedback on the 12C GT3 driving experience. We will use this feedback as we continue to develop the car in readiness for customers to go racing next year.

“We will be taking the opportunity at Spa to work with a future McLaren GT customer, VonRyan Racing. We want to develop close relationships with all our customer race teams and this experience will be valuable in developing our customer support programme for 2012 and beyond.”


  1. Not sure if you've seen the latest edition of EVO in the UK where McLaren responded to the criticism. Seems they've changed the cars in less than a month to fix the issues from the reviews.

    Problem is those reviews will always be remembered you've got to ask who they gave the cars to before launch and how they didn't get it sorted. Internal Politics?

  2. I am sure that I will come under considerable scrutiny for this post, but I really don't think this car belongs in GT3. I love the fact that GT3 has a variety of different types of vehicle platforms, but I think the hardware on the McLaren is too far upfield compared to the others. The Corvettes, the Ferraris, the Lambos, the Audis, The Aston Martins, etc that race in GT3 have advanced chassis but they are still metal chassis vehicles. The BMWs, the 911s, the Mercedes, etc. have very typical unibody chassis. Again, that's swell. I see the McLaren's carbon fiber chassis as being too far advanced for this class. I would also argue that the Mustangs that have been converted to IRS are also out of place in this class, but that's another discussion altogether. The way I see it, cars with composite a chassis, tube frame cars, or cars that are radically modified to the extent that their original suspension configuration is entirely abandoned, do not belong in a class of cars that are highly tuned versions of their production counterpart. I see the McLaren as being a GT1 level car. I suspect that most people that would argue with me on this will bring up the fact that the McLaren is classed against the Ferrari 458 in production trim. That's great, but I think that relative speed should not be the basis for classing cars that are wildly modified. It should be about relatively similar hardware and configuration. I'm sure you'll suggest that the engine will be detuned and that performance balancing with occur. Irrespective, I am of the opinion that the McLaren doesn't belong in GT3 any more than an Enzo, a Pagani Zonda, a McLaren F1, etc. belong in the series. For the record, I love the MP4-12C and I want to see it race. I just don't want to see a machine gun brought to the knife fight and then detuned for stabbing purposes. It just doesn't make sense to me.



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