It is being used to herald the beginning of McLaren’s factory programme to authenticate McLaren’s F1 supercars, in the hopes of maintaining the originality of each vehicle through MSO.
Managing director of MSO Ansar Ali says the F1 GTR which was used for the first restoration is quite a special one.
“Even among F1 GTRs, this car, designated ‘25R’, is unique – and now it is as near to being new as we can make it,” Ali says.
“The car is the exemplar of everything that the new certification programme stands for and we are proud to have ‘25R’ as the very first McLaren F1 Certified car.”
The ‘25R’ Longtail is on with a fairly high-end racing career, having competed for the Gulf-Davidoff (thus the livery) in GT racing and at Le Mans in 1997.
It caught fire during the endurance race that year, but was repaired and sold to a team in Japan where it raced until 2005.
McLaren says it was the last F1 GTR ever to compete in a contemporary race series after a race at Fuji Speedway.
McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt says 25R was a perfect opportunity to show off what MSO is capable of in terms of restoration.
“McLaren cherishes its rich heritage of iconic and world-beating cars such as the F1,” says Flewitt.
“’25R’ presented us with a unique opportunity to demonstrate this by restoring it to precisely how it was when it raced at Le Mans in 1997, thus ensuring its future.
“Maintaining the integrity of these historically significant cars is paramount and F1 Certified will play a big role in allowing us to do that for the peace of mind of owners today as well as preserving a wonderful heritage for future generations of car lovers.”
All the parts used in the restoration for this car are from pre-June 1997, meaning it’s in the same condition it would have been leading up to Le Mans that year, while the only non-McLaren part in the car is the blue roof light which was added to the car or the race.
Every one of the surviving McLaren F1s built between 1993 and 1998 (64 road cars and 28 GTR race cars) is eligible for the MSO F1 Certification program.