McLaren revealed the first images of the MP4-12C GT3 race car as it prepares for its debut test at MIRA proving ground and Silverstone track. The car will be built by McLaren GT, a joint venture of McLaren experts and CRS Racing company.
McLaren GT has also appointed a new test driver to its team, 26-year-old Portuguese racing driver Alvaro Parente. Full driver line-up and planned competition for the 12C GT3 will be confirmed after these tests are completed.
The production road-going MP4-12C has faced some criticism regarding its looks in its short life. Some say it is not as flamboyant and crazy as a proper supercar should be. The GT3 racing version looks kinda worse than that with its modified front and rear aprons and all the extra racing bits it has to carry….
Apart from the looks though, this is an uncanny racing machine. It uses technical know-how from McLaren Formula 1 team. Of course it’s limited by the regulations. The car’s 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 had to be restrained to comply with GT3 regulations. Same rules also dictate that it has to sport a new front splitter, door blade, rear wing, diffuser and louvres in the front fenders. The 12C GT3 is based on the McLaren carbon MonoCell chassis, which weighs just 75kg and is produced in a revolutionary one-piece mould. Race specification composite body panels and a fixed rear wing have been added to the GT3 car.
A bespoke paddle-shift system operating an all-new Ricardo-designed gearbox developed specifically for racing will be fitted. This system eschews the 7-speed SSG dual-clutch Graziano transmission supplied in the standard 12C. New electrical architecture is being supplied by McLaren Electronic Systems Limited, including electronic dash and data technologies. Bosch Motorsport will supply a new ABS system for the 12C GT3.
McLaren MP4-12C GT3 is also available fro privateers to order.
“The 12C’s carbon chassis and aerodynamic efficiency mean we started with a lightweight, dynamically-optimised sports car. Those characteristics are fundamental to any race car. The car is around 100mm wider than the standard production car and features a new suspension system which we have tested in the McLaren Simulator. Having now experienced this new set-up in the 12C GT3 car, I’m delighted with the progress we are making.
McLaren Automotive Chief Test Driver Chris Goodwin said: “Those who have seen the new MP4-12C production car won’t be surprised to learn that immense attention to detail has been applied in developing the GT3 version. Quality is a watchword. We know that our potential customers will expect McLaren GT to deliver a competitive car right out of the box and, starting now with a programme covering aerodynamics development and durability testing, we are determined to do just that.
“The McLaren GT team is committed to achieving unprecedented levels of performance, also guaranteeing the levels of quality, reliability and durability with which we expect to delight future race teams entering competitions with the 12C GT3.”