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Old 12-17-2010, 11:18 AM
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McLaren MP4-12C GT3 2011-2014

McLAREN CONFIRMS GT3 RACING PROGRAMME FOR MP4-12C

* McLaren and CRS Racing in partnership to develop GT3 racing car based on new McLaren MP4-12C road car
* First customer cars planned for 2012 season
* 12C’s innovative carbon chassis, light weight and aerodynamics promise winning performance from race-bred road car


WOKING, UK (Dec 17, 2010) – McLaren today confirms its plans to bring back the McLaren name to GT sports cars racing. From 2012, McLaren and CRS Racing will supply and support a limited number of GT3 racing cars based on the McLaren MP4-12C high-performance sports car for European-based privateers.

15 years since the McLaren F1 GTR famously won the world-famous 24 Heures du Mans (Le Mans) on its debut, and 12 years since six ‘Longtails’ last raced at Le Mans, McLaren and CRS Racing, a successful and experienced UK-based racing team, have begun development work aimed at turning the 12C road car into a race-winning GT3 sports car. As part of the development programme, McLaren and CRS Racing will compete at a limited number of European GT races in 2011.

With the 12C’s revolutionary lightweight one-piece moulded carbon chassis (the ‘MonoCell’), its high levels of downforce and aerodynamic performance, and its focus on form and function, the 12C should prove to be a great platform on which to develop a racing car, as well as visually setting pulses racing at European race tracks.

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.”

Further details about the McLaren 12C GT3 racing car programme will be announced in 2011 and interest from prospective customers can be registered on McLaren - MP4-12C GT3.

Initial plans are for a limited run of 12Cs developed for the 2012 European FIA GT3 Series, but, as with McLaren Automotive’s road car business, conservative growth and expansion will be considered.

CRS Racing will build, sell and support the 12C GT3 cars in close collaboration with McLaren. The Leicestershire-based racing team has a strong pedigree in GT racing in the Le Mans Series, the FIA GT Championship, the International GT Open and the British GT Championship. CRS also runs two successful single-seater teams: in the Formula Renault UK Championship and as Atech CRS in the GP3 Series.
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Old 12-17-2010, 12:47 PM
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Good to have another make getting in the mix.
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Old 12-17-2010, 02:39 PM
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GT3 is attracting a lot of manufacturer interest.
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:17 PM
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As a road car, in terms of performance and customer satisfaction, I think the Ferrari 458 will have its way with the McLaren.

But on the track the 458 GT car will certainly have it's work cut out for it.
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Old 12-18-2010, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by NicFromLA View Post
As a road car, in terms of performance and customer satisfaction, I think the Ferrari 458 will have its way with the McLaren.

But on the track the 458 GT car will certainly have it's work cut out for it.
What makes you say that? There are no reason to suggest the McLaren will be any better or worse than the Ferrari as a road car, or race car for that matter...
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Old 12-18-2010, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by NicFromLA View Post
As a road car, in terms of performance and customer satisfaction, I think the Ferrari 458 will have its way with the McLaren.

But on the track the 458 GT car will certainly have it's work cut out for it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RacingManiac View Post
What makes you say that? There are no reason to suggest the McLaren will be any better or worse than the Ferrari as a road car, or race car for that matter...
I think there are few that can compete with Ferrari in their class - McLaren is probably one of them. I would really like to see a comparison of the two when the McLaren enters production.

Concerning racing versions of these cars on the track, are they not different? the F458 Challenge will be a single make series (maybe someone could convert one to Gt3 spec - if it already isn't), and the GTC is for GT2.

Another forum had earlier rumours of a potential GT2 12C, but who knows if that is true. I have not been keeping up on that rumour.

What would be nice is for all these GT3 machines to race here. I've heard Ratel make mention of an American GT3 series, and I think GT3 is going to be in Grand-Am next year.
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Old 12-18-2010, 05:09 AM
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Am I the only one who thinks the 458 is just plain ugly? Give me a 430 over a 458 any day.
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Old 12-18-2010, 06:14 AM
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Am I the only one who thinks the 458 is just plain ugly? Give me a 430 over a 458 any day.
You could well be.. I'd definately take the 458 on looks alone, I think it's great looking.
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Old 12-18-2010, 06:48 AM
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Am I the only one who thinks the 458 is just plain ugly? Give me a 430 over a 458 any day.
Put me on the list
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by RacingManiac View Post
What makes you say that? There are no reason to suggest the McLaren will be any better or worse than the Ferrari as a road car, or race car for that matter...
What most people don't realize is that Ferrari is in a very competitive market segment, selling a product that is both a car and a luxury item to a relatively small, finicky and demanding clientele. Aston and Lambo have been trying to compete for years and have struggled. For the first year or two McLaren will benefit from the 'gotta have it!' factor, but once the car isn't new anymore it'll be tough to sell cars.

That being said, McLaren is arguably the 3rd greatest marques in racing history (behind Ferrari and Porsche) and I have no doubt they have the know-how to make a competitive racecar.
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Old 12-18-2010, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by NicFromLA View Post
As a road car, in terms of performance and customer satisfaction, I think the Ferrari 458 will have its way with the McLaren.

But on the track the 458 GT car will certainly have it's work cut out for it.
I believe it was Evo magazine that was able to do a hands on comparison of both ccars (however the McLaren was limited to 40MPH ). They were able to sit in both (they drove from Maranello to Woking in the Ferrari, and had a to drive the McLaren around). They claimed the McLaren is more responsive and provides more input than the Ferrari, not to mention the McLaren is (more) driver oriented. I'll try and dig up the article for you guys.
http://www.evo.co.uk/features/featur...en_mp412c.html
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Old 12-18-2010, 12:46 PM
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That being said, McLaren is arguably the 3rd greatest marques in racing history (behind Ferrari and Porsche) and I have no doubt they have the know-how to make a competitive racecar.
its a brave man that bets against the MP4 being anything less than FULLY sorted

history & reputation are meangingless compared to technical ability.

commercial success is also irrelevant when looking at the car from a performance POV . you may admire Ferrari as a company with history , but the numbers on paper alone show the 458 as being in second place before you even get to the track
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Old 12-18-2010, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Dino Scuderia View Post
Good to have another make getting in the mix.
Now if McLaren would return to Le Mans...in the P1 class.

But, considering how the first post noted McLaren is going for "conservative growth", its highly unlikely they'll return to Le Mans anytime soon.
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Old 12-19-2010, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Badsight View Post
its a brave man that bets against the MP4 being anything less than FULLY sorted

history & reputation are meangingless compared to technical ability.

commercial success is also irrelevant when looking at the car from a performance POV . you may admire Ferrari as a company with history , but the numbers on paper alone show the 458 as being in second place before you even get to the track
Everyone forgets the reason they only made about 135 F1s was because that's all they could sell. All the reviews said they were great cars and today they're considered classics, but throughout the 90s McLaren struggled to sell every one of them.
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Old 12-19-2010, 01:16 AM
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Everyone forgets the reason they only made about 135 F1s was because that's all they could sell. All the reviews said they were great cars and today they're considered classics, but throughout the 90s McLaren struggled to sell every one of them.
Isn't the lack of sales largely due to the supercar market bubble bursting in the late 80s early 90s?

The F1 was also the most expensive car ever sold at the time (at least in nominal terms, and likely in real terms). It was a breakthrough and kinda a halo for the McLaren brand, and they had little experience in selling road cars.

Bugatti is having similar problems now - they made a really expensive car that all the journalists love but it is simply too expensive, and it has been sold during a recession.
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