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First Look: McLaren MP4-12C GT3

McLaren GT, a new race car manufacturer which brings together the expertise of McLaren Racing, McLaren Automotive and CRS Racing, today unveiled its GT3 car and plans for a 2011 development programme.
OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
05 May 2011

McLaren GT, a new race car manufacturer which brings together the expertise of McLaren Racing, McLaren Automotive and CRS Racing, today unveiled its GT3 car and plans for a 2011 development programme.

The new McLaren MP4-12C GT3 will be the first McLaren car built for FIA* GT series racing since the McLaren F1 GTR finished production in1997. The 12C GT3 is based on the new MP4-12C high-performance sports car and a team of engineers, designers and test drivers with vast experience in Formula 1 and GT racing has been assembled to undertake the process of adapting the carbon chassis-based 12C to racing specification.

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren Group Chief Executive Officer said: “McLaren has racing in its blood and it was a natural step to take our MP4-12C road car and turn it into the most reliable, efficient and easy to drive GT3 car. Every car on the grid will have its performance balanced by race rules, meaning our objective must be to select a technical specification that ensures any driver is able to access the 12C GT3’s performance limit with ease.

“We have worked with CRS Racing to ensure the 12C’s design and development programme is as close as possible to one McLaren Racing would employ in developing a Formula 1 car. The team at CRS is well qualified to shape decisions in this area as they have an outstanding record in racing GT3 cars, and understand what is required to be successful in that level of competitive motorsport.

“In return, McLaren Racing is able to bring new levels of technology to GT3 racing. No other GT3 car in 2012 will be supplied with a road-car carbon chassis, or a steering wheel and other associated technology from a Formula 1 car.

“The 12C GT3 will be supplied with the 12C’s carbon MonoCell and the same steering wheel design employed by Lewis Hamilton in his MP4-24 Formula 1 car. Plus, we are working closely with Formula 1 suppliers past and present: Akebono, Mobil 1, McLaren Electronic Systems, Ricardo and Michelin for example. This blend of road car and Formula 1 technology and experience will be a great advantage to anyone racing a 12C GT3 in 2012.”

Initial demand for the first 20 McLaren MP4-12C GT3s is high, with interest suggesting that McLaren and CRS Racing could sell the run five times over. However, neither company has any desire to stretch the market and lead to a risk of either oversupply or restrictions on customer service. Retained value in each GT3 car is also of high priority to McLaren and CRS, and the first customers when they take delivery.

Looking further ahead, around 20 more GT3s plan to be built through 2013 and ’14, but both McLaren and CRS remain open-minded and optimistic about developing racing cars for other series’ and markets.

Credits: wilswong

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