Competitive premiere of McLaren 650S Sprint will take place this weekend at Donington Park

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 17, 2014

McLaren’s new 650S Sprint racecar will make its global competitive debut this weekend at the GT Cup race which will take place at Donington Park in the UK. If you don’t remember, the McLaren 650S Sprint was first unveiled last month at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance but this weekend will be the real test for the new vehicle.

Rob Bell will drive the 650S Sprint for Von Ryan Racing and the brand new car will contest three races during the weekend: one sprint race that includes a driver-change on Saturday, followed by two shorter events on Sunday.

Moreover, Rob Bell was also involved in the development of the 650S Sprint, which means that he is the best man to driver this vehicle since he knows everything about it.

The 650S Sprint is powered by the same 3.8-liter twin-turbo M838T found on all the current McLaren models, fitted with a recalibrated transmission. 

Moreover, 650S Sprint of the McLaren GT is a product of the evolution from the highly successful 12C GT Sprint and pushes the game of the 650S roadcar even further. According to Managing Director Andrew Kirkaldy, the 650S Sprint is a car that a driver can enjoy and fully exploit especially since the refinement and levels of engagement have both been optimized.

The development program of the 650S Sprint has been very extensive with thousands of kilometers accomplished on different tracks. The ultimate test however will remain to be an actual race that has a highly competitive grid, adds Kirkaldy. Kirkaldy reveals that the Von Ryan racing team has consistently proven to be world class in their time with GT racing.

Kirkaldy further says that Rob Bell, McLaren GT’s factory driver, is on board and has intricate knowledge of the car since he was also part of the development process of the 650S Sprint. Kirkaldy expects that it will indeed be a good weekend for racing.

With the revelation that the 650S Sprint has become eligible for the Middle East and North America championships, this further demonstrates the very exciting new chapter of the McLaren GT right now.

The 650S Sprint starts at a price of £198,000, and is available worldwide from official McLaren retailers or it can be purchased directly from McLaren GT. For those interested, visit the nearest retailer in your area or go to

Press Release


The new 650S Sprint by McLaren GT is set for its global competitive premiere this weekend at the penultimate round of the GT Cup race at Donington Park, UK. The 650S Sprint is developed and optimised for the track, and eligibility has now been confirmed to race in the NARRA US GT series, the SCCA GT Championship and the UAE GT series. McLaren GT factory driver Rob Bell will be joined by German-based journalist Dale Lomas, for the weekend’s triple-header.

The covers were pulled off the McLaren 650S Sprint at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance last month, and the race this weekend marks the European debut of the car, in the most public of arenas. Racing with McLaren GT customer team Von Ryan Racing, the 650S Sprint will contest three races during the weekend – one sprint race incorporating a driver-change on Saturday, followed by two shorter events on Sunday, with the drivers contesting one complete race each.

McLaren GT factory driver Rob Bell returns to the Von Ryan Racing team after running at this year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa in the 12C GT3. In addition, Bell has been involved in the development of the 650S Sprint so has extensive knowledge of the track-only racer. Bell will share driving duties with experienced Nürburgring-racer Lomas, who has shown good pace in testing ahead of the event.

Based on the road-going 650S, the aerodynamically enhanced design of the 650S Sprint offers increased levels of downforce, and the revised air intakes offer optimised cooling of the 3.8-litre twin-turbo M838T engine. In the 650S Sprint, the proven powerplant is retained from the 650S roadcar, with a unique engine and transmission calibration to further enhance on track drivability and driver engagement.

Managing Director Andrew Kirkaldy commented: ‘The 650S Sprint is an evolution of the successful 12C GT Sprint, and moves the game on as the 650S roadcar has done. The 650S Sprint is an easier car to fully exploit and enjoy for a driver, and the levels of engagement and refinement have been optimised. The development programme for the car has been extensive so far, with many thousands of kilometres completed on various tracks, but this will be the ultimate test – a real race situation with a highly competitive grid.'

‘The team at Von Ryan Racing has shown themselves to be world class over the years in GT racing, and Rob has been heavily involved with the development of the 650S Sprint, so knows the car very well. It should be a great weekend of racing, and with the recent announcement that the car is now eligible for championships in North America and the Middle East, this marks the next exciting chapter for McLaren GT.’

The 650S Sprint is priced at £198,000*, and available from all official McLaren retailers worldwide or direct from McLaren GT. Visit: to locate your nearest retailer.

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