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