Nine examples of the stunning McLaren 12C GT3 will line up on the grid of the famous Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps next weekend, 27-29 July to contest the Total 24 Hours of Spa. The gruelling 24-hour race is the headline event in the 2012 Blancpain Endurance Series, and one of the most demanding events on the motorsport calendar.
With the 12C GT3 still in its competitive debut season, McLaren Automotive Chief Test Driver Chris Goodwin is pleased with the progress made by the McLaren GT customer teams in 2012.
“With wins recorded in FIA GT1 World by Hexis Racing and, more recently, by ART GP in the French GT series, it is very satisfying to see that the potential of the 12C GT3 is beginning to be realized at this early stage of its life. Spa 24-hour is unlike any other GT race. It is a spectacular, but incredibly challenging, circuit and efficiency and reliability will be vital to all competitors as well as being able to react to the often changeable track conditions.
“All teams racing a 12C GT3 feature top drivers in their line-ups and, with more than 60 cars on the grid, so too do our competitors. McLaren has put in a big effort to test and prepare for this great event and we hope the 12C GT3 will be very competitive in the hands of our customers.
“McLaren has strong links to the famous Belgian circuit. It was here that Bruce McLaren scored the first Formula 1 victory for the team and, during last year’s British GT round, it was where the 12C GT3 secured a maiden pole position.”
The event, Round Four of the Series, will see the 12C GT3s on track wearing the distinctive liveries of six McLaren GT customer teams. Chris Goodwin will be part of the driver line-up in one of Von Ryan Racing’s two 12C GT3s. The French-based ART Grand Prix team, fresh from victory with the 12C GT3 in last weekend’s FFSA French GT round at Magny-Cours, will line up alongside Portuguese team ASM, with patriotic livery featuring green and red accents, and the Lapidus Racing car finished in white and McLaren Orange. Belgium’s Boutsen-Ginion Racing team head to headline event of the Blancpain calendar, and their home event, running two cars both finished in a striking black and orange design. Gulf Racing completes the McLaren line-up with two cars wearing the famous blue and orange livery.
Ahead of the race, a high-quality short film has been produced in which McLaren GT ‘works’ driver Rob Bell previews the challenging 4.35 mile (7.004km) Spa-Francorchamps circuit, highlighting the challenges facing the teams and what it is that makes the 24 hours of Spa so appealing. This preview film can be viewed or embedded at the official McLaren Automotive YouTube channel: http://youtu.be/WyT9gyscshQ
Total 24 Hours of Spa gets underway at 16.00 (CEST) on Saturday, 28 July and will see more than 60 cars line up on the grid. Follow the action live, and track the progress of the 12C GT3s through the McLaren GT Pitwall (http://media.mclarenautomotive.com/pitwall ) or @McLaren_GT on Twitter.