• Mar 19th 2010 at 10:00AM
  • 14
McLaren MP4-12C GTR Longtail renderings - Click above for high-res image gallery

When a world-championship racing team unveils a new supercar, some inevitable questions are bound to follow. In the case of the McLaren MP4-12C, people want to know if the company plans on racing it. Seems like logical enough a question, especially considering that McLaren's racing experience extends beyond Formula One, most notably the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans where a McLaren F1 GTR pipped the prototypes to claim overall victory.

According to McLaren chief Ron Dennis, the company is not planning their own racing campaign for the MP4. But having learned from the F1 project, which was never designed as a race car but was later adapted to the purpose following demand from racing teams, Dennis suggested that the company could offer and support competition spec versions of the car for privateer entries.

While it remains a question mark as to which series the car might be best suited, neither the FIA GT1 World Championship nor Le Mans (and its associated series around the world) would seem out of the realm of possibility. Maybe those renderings of long-tail MP4-12Cs weren't so far-fetched after all.

[Source: Autosport]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      as evil as it is, i miss cigarette sponsorships. they really do have the best liveries.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They better.
      • 5 Years Ago
      looks better as a racecar than the actual street version; and that's usually NOT the norm.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Stunning. Just stunning. The Gulf livery would make a Yugo look good, and on this car, it is unfortunate it won't be offered as a factory paint job. But nothing is stopping anyone from paining it like that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      McLaren had no plans to make a racing version of the F1 but ended up doing so because enought customers were planning to convert road cars to race cars.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually the story goes like this...

        People bought the car as a street car, but figured it would make a great base for a race car in series like the BPR which was being run by one Stephen Ratel of FIA GT/FIA World GT fame or infamous.

        Gordon Murry outlined what changes needed to be made in order for to car to be competitive under BPR rules.

        They backed into a race victory at Le Mans in '95, but a win is a win.

        When Porsche announced and showed up with its 911-GT1 race car in late 1996, Murry went back and did what he always wanted to do IF he designed the F1 as a race car and the LONG TAIL was born, that's what a racing version of the F1 would have always looked like.

        Ah the history of the BPR and GT1 brings a tear to the eye.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Psssst.... RX-8...

        Go back to your reply to my comment regarding the Miata driver plowing into the side of the ZX-2 in the 24 Hours of LeMons...

        Just wondering if you got my message...

      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope they do go racing. It would appear that they are serious about it too, as Martin Whitmarsh confirmed at the launch of the MP4-12C that they'd been in talks with Ferrari about going racing together. From Autosport:

      "Whitmarsh was speaking today at the launch of McLaren's MP4-12C sportscar, which he hopes can compete against Ferraris in the GT racing world. He has spoken to Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo about future competition between the two in sportscars.

      "Our message there was: 'We want to race with you [Ferrari]. Where are you going to go? Why don't we go together?'" "
      • 5 Years Ago
      They all look great, especially the Marlboro one. as DCragtop said, it looks even better than the stock version.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That Gulf livery is beautiful.... But @Xa, I agree with you.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I actually like that not-quite-Gulf better than the real gulf livery.

        Real gulf livery would be a lighter, powder blue, and a more specific orange, less red.

        But I love bright blues and reds, so it is fine with me. :D

        About XA's comments, I agree that the tobacco branding livery is striking.

        What I don't get is why it is evil... Tobacco companies are still legal enterprises. Tobacco is not a banned substance. If it were banned, people would likely talk about it like some people talk about trying to legalize marijuana now.

        Tobacco may not be ultra wonderful, and I don't smoke. But I can't think of an industry that has been smeared as badly, without actually being, or becoming a banned substance. And new advertizing restrictions are being suggested now, for concerts and all sorts of other cultural events.

        I kind of wish people would choose one way or the other. Ban it, or leave it alone and free to operate, and be libertarian enough to say that if people use it, the consequences are their own.

        Then they'd be free to sponsor races, paint cars, whatever, like any other legal enterprise that can afford to pay for it, and re-cycle their capital through the economy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      One ugly big wing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      i would.
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