A while ago spy photographers captured a race-spec version of the new McLaren MP4-12C on track, which itself is yet to be launched. Now as it turns out it was the GT3 version of the car developed in partnership with CRS Racing which will become available to privateer teams from 2012. It’s good to hear that despite expanding business and going all business-like, McLaren hasn’t forgot about motorsport.
And it’s going to be one helluva racer! It certainly looks great but it’s not all show and no go. 12C’s innovative carbon chassis, light weight and aerodynamics promise winning performance from race-bred road car. And although its V8 engine will be detuned to comply with the regs, it’s still a brilliant powertrain for the job.
Martin Whitmarsh, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Team Principal said: “Racing is in our blood – it was natural to develop a GT3 car alongside the 12C road car. We have a legendary history in global motorsport, including GT racing, and we aim to maintain that reputation with this GT3 programme, and any future sports car projects that may evolve.
“The 12C’s architecture and design was always aimed at high-performance and ease of maintenance – two key criteria for potential customers. Combine that with the vast amount of racing experience in our automotive team, and CRS Racing’s specialist development experience, and the 12C GT3 should be an exciting proposition for the top teams planning to race in GT3 from 2012.”
Andrew Kirkaldy, Team Principal, CRS Racing said: “It is a rare opportunity to work with a company like McLaren and we are proud to be involved. Together, we aim to produce the highest quality GT car on the grid. The level of engineering experience at McLaren is unparalleled and this will be reflected in the 12C GT3. One of the most important aspects of this programme will be customer service and for that reason we will be building a limited number of cars at a competitive price. The result will be an incredible GT car with manageable running costs and good residual value that will provide its owner with an unrivalled experience.”