McLaren 12C GT3 logs successful racing year in 2012

Article by Anita Panait, on December 27, 2012

The 2012 season certainly marks the very successful racing debut of the McLaren 12C GT3. Letting the numbers speak, 23 examples of the 12C GT3 ran the dirt in 14 different series with 13 McLaren GT customer teams. The customer teams gained 19 victories and covered more than 106,000 kilometers combined.

Among the races where the 12C GT3 recorded wins in include the Blancpain Endurance Series, FIA GT1 World, Barcelona 24h and Avon Tyres British GT. The 12C GT3 also went on to claim astonishing victories in City Challenge Baku, FFSA French GT and GT Cup. Due to its overwhelming success in 2012 in the world of customer GT racing, the 12C GT3 is considered by teams to be the ‘GT car to own and race.’

Following a challenging start to the 2012 season, McLaren GT worked with each of the customer teams to optimise the 12C GT3, thereby earning its first win through the French-based Hexis Racing team in the FIA GT1 World Championship.

As a result, the Hexis Racing team claimed back-to-back victories over a weekend at the Circuito de Navarra in Spain. Following those wins, Hexis Racing went on to achieve eight wins and eight further podiums in all competitions, and just missed out on retaining the championship by a very narrow one point.

On the other hand, the Blancpain Endurance Series had the largest number of 12C GT3s racing together throughout the six-date calendar, on some of the most well-known racing circuits in the world.

The main event of the Series -- the Total 24 Hours of Spa – saw nine 12C GT3s competing among a grid of more than 65 cars. Five 12C GT3s qualified in the top 20 in the race, with the Von Ryan Racing team achieving pole position in class (P3 overall). For the 2013 season, McLaren GT has confirmed a batch of additional racing cars will be produced and will be made available to race.

Commenting on the 2012 season, and the results recorded by the McLaren GT customer teams, Andrew Kirkaldy, Managing Director of McLaren GT explained: ‘This season has been full of new challenges for McLaren GT and the teams running the 12C GT3 which, it is important to remember, is a brand new car to GT racing. To have scored 19 victories in the competitive debut season is true testament to the professionalism and dedication of the teams, as well as the durability, reliability and speed of the 12C GT3.'

The key styling concept of the latest McLaren MP4-12C road car is another model that proves McLaren's guarantee of providing fresh driving experience both in race and road automobiles. Andrew Kirkaldy, CRS Racing Team Principal, takes a decade of GT-level racing experience to McLaren GT. As the team’s project manager, Kirkaldy identified the cockpit and other attributes of the 12C GT3. This is to guarantee that constraints typical of GT3 race cars will be eliminated from the McLaren.

When Martin Whitmarsh first approached CRS Racing, Kirkaldy was thrilled. His primary goal is to meet the customer and driver’s needs. The objective exceeds everything that the company is currently undertaking. The development program will be strict to ensure reliability. The technical specification of the vehicle will exceed competing cars due to the company’s connection with Formula 1 technology suppliers. Build quality will echo the high standards brought in the 12C road car. Lastly, the optimum performance will be made available to drivers of different experience levels.

The project manager said CRS Racing is excited to work with McLaren. The expectations for the new automobile are appropriately higha. The company bears in common the engineering innovation, passion for design and racing success that will ensure the model is the most competitive in the series from 2012.

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