McLaren has finally confirmed that its 12C GT3 will contend the North American-based Pirelli World Challenge in 2014, something that’s been known for a while now as the automaker had received approval for the competition last year. McLaren itself won’t be competing but will be supplying cars to K-PAX Racing.

A former Pirelli World Challenge champion, K-PAX Racing will compete in the 16 races across nine dates this season with two examples of the 12C GT3, which will compete in the top GT class. Drivers include veteran sports car driver Alex Figge and 2012 U.S. Touring Car Championship class winner Robert Thorne.

The competitive debut of the 12C GT3 with K-PAX Racing will be at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which gets underway on March 28.

The McLaren 12C GT3 is closely based on the road-going 12C. The car still packs a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-8, but its dual-clutch transmission has been replaced by a sequential unit. The interior has also been stripped, the aerodynamics improved and a conventional suspension setup installed.

This will be the 12C GT3’s first round of competition in North America since the car’s launch in 2012. McLaren, of course, has a strong legacy of race results in North America, claiming a record 43 race victories and five championships in the Can-Am series between 1967 and 1971, and three wins at the legendary Indy 500, in 1972, 1974 and 1976.

Note, the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge season will also see Acura enter the fray with a race car based on its yet-to-be-released 2015 TLX sedan. It too will be competing in the top GT category.


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