Le Mans-winning McLaren F1 GTR - Click above for high-res image gallery
In the book Driving Ambition about the story of the McLaren F1, chapter 19 begins with the following:
And that, friends, is why the McLaren F1 GTR is so impressive. The F1 road car wasn't built just to homologate for racing. The motorsports program was an afterthought, one that won the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans outright on McLaren's first attempt as well as finishing third, fourth and fifth. You're looking at the winning car, driven by J.J. Lehto, Yannick Dalmas and Masanori Sekiya, which was displayed by McLaren at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed. Enjoy the gallery below.It would have been easy for McLaren Cars to bask in the simple afterglow of its achievement, and initially a relatively somber programme of production and detail refinement to perfect the model was all that was envisaged. But not high performance car manufacturer can legitimately expect to build a world-beater, without one or two prominent and enthusiastic customers becoming keen to prove its products' capabilities 'in anger'. Although there had never – ever – been any expressed intention by the McLaren team at Genesis to produce anything other than a purebred road car, through the summer of 1994 – as we have seen – enthusiastic sporting-minded customers began to persuade the F1's manufacturers to change their minds. Despite many qualms, they did just that.
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