It doesn't usually matter what number an automaker puts on the side when it reveals a new racecar, but when McLaren introduced its new 650S GT3 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this past weekend, it wore the number 59. It was the same number which the McLaren F1 GTR wore when it took the checkered flag at Le Mans in 1995, and now word has it that the British outfit could be plotting a return.
When McLaren rolled out its new 650S, we knew it would only be a matter of time before it would completely replace the 12C altogether. And that would include the racing version – not least because McLaren officials told us as much. And with the Goodwood Festival of Speed now getting underway in the UK, Woking's GT racing division has revealed its new GT3-spec racer.
One of the very best automotive events of the year kicks off next week in England – the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Manufacturers from around the globe will descend on the Earl of March's estate in West Sussex to display their wares, while some of the world's greatest cars will streak up the estate's 1.16-mile Hillclimb Circuit.
McLaren isn't a company used to standing still. It has 182 grand prix victories under its belt, a dozen Formula One titles and some of the most lust-worthy supercars ever made. So we could hardly blame anyone (ourselves included) for impatiently anticipating what the team at Woking has coming next. Of course, McLaren itself is eager to keep its customers focused on the considerable offerings it already has on hand, but speaking to a few key McLaren personalities has given us some clues.