McLaren GT announces first customers for new McLaren MP4-12C GT3

Posted: August 17, 2011 by The Car Spy in General, McLaren

As McLaren GT prepares to enter two cars in the Blancpain Endurance Series race at Magny Cours on 27 August 2011, the new GT race car manufacturer is announcing that the first 20 MP4-12C GT3 race cars available to purchase for racing in 2012 are now sold. Like the 12C road car on which the 12C GT3 race car is based, demand has outstripped supply.

Production of the 12C GT3  has been deliberately limited, as McLaren GT plans to develop close relationships and provide ongoing engineering support to its customers racing in 2012 and beyond.  This limited production run of race cars will be distributed among private owners and race teams for racing in Europe next year.  A full list of clients for the new 12C GT3 will be published in advance of the 2012 season, and will include:

  • ASM Team
  • Andrew Tate
  • Apex Motorsport
  • Boutsen Energy Racing/Ginion Group
  • Doerr Motorsport
  • Gulf Racing
  • J.A.S. Motorsport
  • Klaas Hummel
  • Leon Price
  • Von Ryan Racing

McLaren GT began development of the 12C GT3 in March, when the first iteration of the stunning new race car undertook debut tests at the MIRA proving ground and Silverstone Stowe Circuit in the UK.  Subsequent tests at two of Europe’s most challenging new circuits; Circuito de Navarra in northern Spain and Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal, were followed by a race debut in the British GT Championship at Spa-Francorchamps early in July.  At the end of July, three examples of the 12C GT3 competed in the Total 24 hours of Spa.

McLaren GT Project Manager Andrew Kirkaldy said: “The new 12C GT3 has gone from its first ever shakedown to a 24 hour endurance race in a matter of a few months. That is a huge achievement for the car and its new componentry, as well as the team responsible for its development.

“Our new customers appreciate that taking a race season to develop the 12C GT3 means we are able to deliver a level of reliability and driveability that exceeds their expectations of new race cars.  Like the 12C road car, the GT3 version is based on a carbon ‘MonoCell’ chassis and has an all-new engine and transmission arrangement, as well as a bespoke aerodynamics package.  In tests and at races this season we have seen these technologies prove to be robust and efficient. Our experiences during this race season are helping us refine the 12C GT3’s technical credentials.” 

The 12C GT3 race car is based on the groundbreaking 12C sports car.  McLaren Group CEO Martin Whitmarsh said: “This is an exciting time for McLaren.  In 2011 McLaren Automotive has launched what I believe is the most innovative sports car in the world and now a network of the world’s best car retailers has begun opening showroom doors to customers of the 12C.  A new £40m McLaren Production Centre will officially open later this year and development programmes for McLaren Automotive’s future range  of sports cars are well underway.  

“The technological expertise we have in McLaren Racing and McLaren Automotive is now being introduced to a different level of motorsport by McLaren GT.  Since the launch of McLaren GT we have been overwhelmed by the number of enquiries received to purchase the 12C GT3.  Our new customers are leaders in GT racing, and we’re confident that we will deliver to them the the most efficient, reliable and easy to drive car among the competition when it lines up on the grid next year 

“Our clients are looking forward to receiving a GT car full of Formula 1 technology, and we are committed to ensuring ownership of the 12C GT3 is as enjoyable as racing it.” 

The development team at McLaren GT includes senior executives from McLaren Automotive and McLaren Racing. The development programme for the 12C GT3 is therefore advanced through the knowledge of specialists in aerodynamics, advanced simulation methods and vehicle dynamics engineering.

The 12C GT3 will be supplied with a steering wheel of the same design employed by Lewis Hamilton in his MP4-24 Formula 1 car. McLaren GT is working with Formula 1 suppliers past and present in developing the 12C GT3, including Akebono, Mobil 1, McLaren Electronic Systems, Ricardo and Michelin.

McLaren GT set the price of the new MP4-12C GT3 at £310,000. Customers of the car have been encouraged by the promise of no hidden costs and the opportunity to work with McLaren GT engineers throughout 2012 in developing the 12C GT3 to their own race specification.

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