McLaren MP4-12C GT3 makes its debut at the 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 30, 2011

The new GT3 car from McLaren has made its global debut at the 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed. It is the first car that the company built for racing outside of Formula 1 ever since the McLaren F1 GTR. Based on McLaren’s MP4-12C high-performance road car, the new GT3 car received revisions as it underwent a brief intense period of development.

New parts that are meant to optimize the car’s aerodynamic performance include a front radiator, which extends the maximum ambient temperature at which the car can operate. It also features a new gearbox cooler on the rear Aerodeck.

The model has an aerodynamics package that consists of a new front splitter, door blade, rear wing, diffuser and louvers in the front fenders. All of these are built entirely from carbonfiber by McLaren Racing.

Meanwhile, McLaren Automotive gave inputs on the design. The newly established McLaren GT was tasked to develop the 12C GT3. McLaren GT, which is headed by McLaren Group CEO Martin Whitmarsh and CRS Racing Team Principal Andrew Kirkaldy, will be sitting out the 2011 race season to develop the 12C GT3.

But it is preparing for the delivery of 20 cars to privateer teams for GT3 racing in Europe in 2012. The MP4-12C GT3 is similar to the 12C road car and it features the ‘MonoCell’, an exclusive one-piece carbon fibre chassis. In 1981, McLaren presented a carbon fibre monocoque to Formula 1. The 12C GT3 will make use of several other technologies derived from Formula 1.

The 12C GT3 will get the same steering wheel design that Lewis Hamilton used in his MP4-24 Formula 1 car. McLaren GT is working with past and current Formula 1 suppliers like Akebono, Mobil 1, McLaren Electronic Systems, Ricardo and Michelin to develop a race car specification that’s technologically superior to the GT3 competition in 2012.

Press Release

REVISED McLAREN MP4-12C GT3 TAKES TO THE HILL FOR ITS DYNAMIC WORLD DEBUT AT 2011 GOODWOOD FESTIVAL OF SPEED

The first McLaren car built for racing outside of Formula 1 since the McLaren F1 GTR will make its public dynamic world debut at the 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed, held from 30 June-03 July. The new GT3 car, based on McLaren’s MP4-12C high-performance road car, will appear in its revised form, honed during a recent intense period of development.

New components designed to optimise the car’s aerodynamic performance include a front radiator, which increases the maximum ambient temperature at which the car can run, along with a new gearbox cooler mounted on the rear Aerodeck. These features complete an aerodynamics package incorporating a new front splitter, door blade, rear wing, diffuser and louvres in the front fenders, all of which is produced entirely from carbon fibre by McLaren Racing, following design input from McLaren Automotive.

The 12C GT3 is being developed by the recently established McLaren GT. Led by McLaren Group CEO Martin Whitmarsh and CRS Racing Team Principal Andrew Kirkaldy, McLaren GT is spending the 2011 race season developing the 12C GT3 before delivering 20 cars to privateer teams for GT3 racing in Europe in 2012.

Like the 12C road car, the MP4-12C GT3 features a unique one-piece carbon fibre chassis, the ‘MonoCell’. McLaren introduced a carbon fibre monocoque to Formula 1 in 1981, and the 12C GT3 will feature several other Formula 1-derived technologies. The 12C GT3 will be supplied with the same steering wheel design used by Lewis Hamilton in his MP4-24 Formula 1 car. Formula 1 suppliers past and present including Akebono, Mobil 1, McLaren Electronic Systems, Ricardo and Michelin are working with McLaren GT to create a race car specification technologically superior to the GT3 competition in 2012.

Since the 12C GT3 was unveiled to the media and prospective team owners in May 2011, McLaren GT has tested its new car at a mixture of proving grounds and FIA approved circuits across Europe. This development phase is an opportunity for McLaren GT to optimise the technical specification and durability of the 12C GT3.

Andrew Kirkaldy from McLaren GT said: “The reaction to the 12C GT3 at the circuits we have visited has been phenomenal. I can’t wait to see how it goes down at Goodwood this weekend.

“CRS Racing was clearly excited to be confirmed as partner in this project as we were only too aware of McLaren’s short, but unbelievable GT history with the F1. But the anticipation amongst circuit owners and race teams to McLaren’s return to GT racing has still surprised us. I’m delighted that we have the opportunity to drive the 12C GT3 up the hill at Goodwood and raise the interest even further.”

Confirmed drivers of the GT3 car for the 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed weekend are Andrew Kirkaldy, 2010 Vodafone McLaren Mercedes test driver Oliver Turvey, and McLaren Automotive Chief Test Driver Chris Goodwin.

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