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McLaren May Race At Le Mans In 2016 With 650S Racer

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2015 McLaren 650S GT3 race car

2015 McLaren 650S GT3 race car

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McLaren stunned the automotive world back in 1995 when one of its F1 GTR race cars claimed overall victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, surpassing some tough competition including many prototype race cars. McLaren never managed to repeat the feat, and due to rule changes in 1999 the F1 GTR was no longer eligible for the legendary race.

Now, with a new breed of sports car-based racers developed by its McLaren GT division, McLaren is considering once again competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The British automaker isn’t looking to compete against the likes of Audi, Porsche and Toyota in the premier LMP1 category but rather the GTE Pro category where the likes of Aston Martin, Chevrolet, Ferrari and Porsche all field road car-based racers—and the car McLaren would like to use is the latest 650S GT3.

"I would be very surprised if you don't see a 650S running at Le Mans at some point and we hope to be there from 2016,” McLaren GT boss Andrew Kirkaldy told Autosport. "That's what we want to do, but we still need a set of regulations to build the car to."

The organizers of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as the World Endurance Championship which the French race is part of, are looking to update the regulations for the GTE category in 2016, so McLaren is yet to commit to developing a new GTE-spec 650S. However, the latest 650S GT3 is close to matching current GTE specifications, so the full transition should be possible.

McLaren could compete with a full factory team or as a supplier of cars for private teams.

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