‘Mclaren one-make series planned’

Plans still in early stages but new car has re­ceived sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­est

Motor Sport News - - Racing News - By Gary watkins

Mclaren Au­to­mo­tive and Mclaren GT, which de­vel­ops the man­u­fac­turer’s rac­ing cars, have both con­firmed that the idea of a one-make series has been floated.

Their ad­mis­sion fol­lows Mclaren Group boss Ron Den­nis’s rev­e­la­tion in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view in F1 Rac­ing that such a cham­pi­onship was on the cards.

“Mclaren Au­to­mo­tive will con­tinue to ma­ture and di­ver­sify, in­tro­duc­ing more be­spoke car cus­tomi­sa­tion pro­grammes and prob­a­bly a one-make rac­ing series of some kind,” said Den­nis.

Mclaren GT man­ag­ing di­rec­tor An­drew Kirkaldy stressed that plans for such a series were still at a for­ma­tive stage.

“It is some­thing we have talked about,” he ex­plained. “We’ve built the GT4 car and we’re think­ing that it would be a good base for a one-make series, and also that some­thing like that would be a good thing to do.

“But that’s as far as it has gone right now. There’s a lot of water to go un­der the bridge be­fore we can firm any­thing up.”

He added that it was too early to talk about where the series would run and when it might start.

Paul Macken­zie, di­rec­tor of spe­cial oper­a­tions at Mclaren Au­to­mo­tive, ex­plained that dis­cus­sions about a one­make series were part of a wide-rang­ing re­view of its mo­tor­sport strat­egy.

“We un­der­stand the broad ben­e­fits of be­ing in­volved in mo­tor­sport and are look­ing how to max­imise that in the fu­ture,” he said.

The 570S GT4 was launched in March and a devel­op­ment car is be­ing raced by Mclaren GT’S in-house team, known as Garage 59, un­der the Ecurie Ecosse ban­ner in this year’s Bri­tish GT Cham­pi­onship.

The or­der book for cus­tomer GT4S has yet to be opened, but Kirkaldy re­vealed that en­quiries from po­ten­tial buy­ers num­bered “well over 200”. The 562bhp racer will re­tail for ap­prox­i­mately £160,000, less than half the price of the 650S GT3.

The only pre­vi­ous one-make series for a car de­signed and built by Mclaren took place in 2008. The fi­nal ver­sion of the Mer­cedes-benz SLR Mclaren, a joint ven­ture be­tween the two man­u­fac­tur­ers, was de­vel­oped for rac­ing by Ray Mal­lock Lim­ited.

RML cen­trally ran the fleet of Merc Mclaren 722 GTS and a to­tal of seven events in Europe were run to a pro-am for­mat. Guest driv­ers who took part in­cluded Jean Alesi, Jochen Mass and Bruno Senna.

Mclaren’s GT4 has run in Bri­tish GT

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