The McLaren MP4-12C GT3. Image: McLaren Automotive
Orders for the first McLaren MP4-12C GT3 race cars have been filled, and, like the MP4-12C road car, demand was higher than available inventory. Initially, McLaren will deliver just 20 MP4-12C GT3 cars, to 10 teams, in order to maintain a sound working relationship between the factory and the racing teams. McLaren will provide ongoing engineering support for those campaigning the MP4-12C GT3, and has promised to work with each team on an ongoing basis to dial-in their desired race setups.
McLaren has also promised teams that there will be no hidden costs in the MP4-12C GT3 program, and that the car’s purchase price of approximately $514,000 includes ongoing development work from McLaren. Furthermore, McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh promises the MP4-12C GT3 will be, “the most efficient, reliable and easy to drive car among the competition.”
The FIA GT3 competition Whitmarsh refers to includes cars like the Aston Martin DBRS9, the Audi R8 LMS, the Ferrari 458 Italia, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 and the Porsche 911 GT3 R, to name but a few. Most have had years of GT3 development experience, but the McLaren MP4-12C GT3 program began only last March. Eighteen weeks later, three prototype McLaren race cars competed in the Total 24 Hours of Spa, something that McLaren GT Project Manager Andrew Kirkaldy called a “huge achievement for the car and its new componentry, as well as the team responsible for its development.”
While other teams campaigning the MP4-12C GT3 will be announced prior to the start of the 2012 FIA GT3 season, for now we know that the initial cars went to ASM Team, Andrew Tate, Apex Motorsport, Boutsen Energy Racing/Ginion Group, Doerr Motorsport, Gulf Racing, J.A.S. Racing, Klaas Hummel, Leon Price and Von Ryan Racing. Given McLaren’s long history of success in all forms of motor racing, we’re sure the MP4-12C GT3 will prove competitive in the 2012 season.