McLaren has revealed its newest intended addition to the grids of GT3 races around the world, the McLaren 720S GT3.
More than ninety per cent of the 720S’s components have been changed or optimised in some way for the GT3 version, with the overall layout remaining essentially the same as a mid-engined coupé.
It still utilises a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 though in race-spec and prone to restriction via the FIA’s rulebook for GT3 racing. A 6-speed sequential race ‘box transmits power to the rear wheels only.
McLaren Automotive motorsport director Dan Walmsley says the car was already close to where it needed to be even as a road car, but adds that a GT3 car is often so far from its road-going version that there was still a lot of work to be done.
“The McLaren 720S is such a multi-talented road car that we always knew honing its pure racing talents and making a GT3 car out of it would be an entirely natural process - and so it has been.
“While largely a bespoke machine, the GT3 car is still a McLaren 720S at its core. Developing a race car is about optimising every component and the lightweight MonoCage II carbon fibre chassis is the perfect base for this,” says Walmsley.
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McLaren has been testing the race version of its Super Series topper on track, with a development program set to take the car across the world and run experimental kilometres in Europe, the Middle East, and the US.
McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt says seeing the GT3 version of McLaren’s sports car take to the track was particularly exhilarating.
“It was an incredibly exciting moment for us to see our new 720S GT3 begin the intensive track-based phase of a development programme that we are confident will provide our customers with a first-class GT race car,” says Flewitt.
“Enabling our customers to go racing is integral to the business strategy of McLaren Automotive and we are committed to supplying teams with exceptional GT cars and the world-class support to get the most out of them.”
The entire body of the 720S GT3 is bespoke for the race car, with a much larger front grille and GT3-spec wing being the most obvious alterations. A bespoke splitter, floor assembly and dive-planes also differentiate the GT3 from the road car.
In the UK, McLaren says the 720S GT3 will set customers back £440,000 from the factory, with cars likely to be ready for ‘entry into major GT3 championships in 2019’.