Mclaren ad­mits weigh­ing up Le Mans re­turn with new fac­tory GTE project

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

Mclaren is eval­u­at­ing a re­turn to the Le Mans 24 Hours, ac­cord­ing to new com­pany head Zak Brown.

Mclaren hasn’t com­peted at La Sarthe since 1997, when the F1 GTR project came to an end. That car won the 24 Hours out­right in 1995.

The Wok­ing firm has been linked with mul­ti­ple en­durance rac­ing projects in the past, and re­cently also re­cruited for­mer Strakka Rac­ing boss Dan Walm­s­ley to its spe­cial op­er­a­tions depart­ment. Brown told MN’S sis­ter ti­tle

Au­tosport: “We have won Le Mans and the race is in our his­tory, and part of my job is to de­cide where the Mclaren brand should race. Go­ing back to Le Mans is some­thing we have iden­ti­fied and that we are dis­cussing.

“Per­son­ally, I would love to see us go to Le Mans, and I’m not the only one.”

The rise of the Mclaren GT and Au­to­mo­tive sis­ter busi­nesses mean that a project in the GTE divi­sion would be more likely than a pro­to­type one. Mclaren was last linked with a Le Mans en­try with the MP4/12C back in 2012, but that project was scrapped when the FIA and ACO failed to unify the GTE and GT3 reg­u­la­tions. A GTE car could be de­vel­oped by Mclaren GT, as op­posed to be­ing out­sourced to a firm like Pro­drive [As­ton Martin Rac­ing] or Pratt & Miller [Corvette]. How­ever, Mclaren GT head An­drew Kirkaldy has re­peat­edly stressed that the sis­ter busi­ness would need sub­stan­tial sup­port from Mclaren to make it hap­pen.

Mclaren GT cur­rently pro­duces and sup­ports the fac­tory and customer rac­ing pro­grammes for both the 650S GT3 and 570S GT4 cars.

Leg­endary F1 GT-R was last en­try

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