Built for Bigazzi Team SRL, competed in exhibition rounds at Curitiba and Brasilia, winning both races in 1996, then winning the Brazilian Mil Milhas in 1997. The McLaren F1 GTR is a racing variant of the McLaren F1 sports car first produced in 1995 for grand touring style racing, such as the BPR Global GT Series, FIA GT Championship, JGTC, and British GT Championship. Going into 1996, McLaren debuted their upgraded cars in an attempt to continue their dominance of the series. By adding mufflers, passenger seats, adjusting the suspension for more ground clearance for public streets, and removing the air restrictors, the cars were able to be registered for road use. The car was driven by David Brabham and John Nielsen. Debuting at the 1995 BPR season opener at Jerez, three F1 GTRs took to the track (two for GTC Competition, one for David Price Racing's West Competition).
The handful of special McLaren hypercars each carry the Senna GTR LM nameplate in reference to the F1 GTR LM that took first, second, fourth, fifth and 13th in the world-famous endurance race held 25 years ago, with each car featuring a one-off paint job inspired by the original racers. Bodywork modification saw the addition of various cooling ducts, most noticeably a large one in the center of the nose and two placed in the location of the storage lockers on the side of the car. In the closing hours of the race, five McLaren F1 GTRs were still racing while only three WSC cars remained. Had the McLaren won its class, it would have earned an automatic entry to Le Mans as a prototype in 2000, however the car failed to finish and the eventual class winner, a Toyota GT-One, declined the automatic invitation as Toyota decided to end the GT-One program in favour of Formula One. Although officially not part of any one racing series, the 24 Hours of Le Mans was still considered important enough for McLaren to enter. McLaren first ran Le Mans in 1995, with all seven chassis built at the time being entered. “If any single person deserved the credit for winning it was JJ,” recalls Lanzante. Weight was further reduced and a sequential gearbox was added. I’m having fun.’ He was spinning wheels on the straight shifting gears and was sideways rally-style in the chicanes…”. The F1 GTR 1996 was the fastest variant in terms of straight line speed - the car hit 330 km/h on the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans in 1996, which is 13 km/h faster than the 1997 long-tail F1 GTR and even 6 km/h faster than the 1996 Porsche GT1.
We asked him to slow down. The McLarens showed their speed from the very start, taking the first three qualifying spots. GTC, West Competition, and Mach One would trade off wins for the next three rounds until McLaren finally suffered a loss to Ferrari at Anderstorp yet again. The winning car, which was driven by Yannick Dalmas, Masanori Sekiya, and JJ Lehto, was retained by McLaren and never raced again. It would contest the legendary enduro with Frenchman Yannick Dalmas, already a two-time winner of the 24 Hours, the vastly experienced Masanori Sekiya, a Japanese driver so fond of Le Mans that he had got married there, and F1 driver JJ Lehto, a La Sarthe rookie. Although the car used many racing technologies and designs, it was felt that the car should be a road car first, without any intent built into the creation of the car to modify it into a racing car. Although McLaren had successfully outdone Porsche, they were simply unable to compete with the power of the new Mercedes-Benz. McLarens would return though in 1999 with Team Take One purchasing McLaren F1 GTR #19R, a 1997-spec car, for competition in GT500. An unused F1 chassis which was meant to become #019 was taken by McLaren and modified by the company as a developmental prototype. Three different versions of the race car were developed from 1995 to 1997. Raced by, Modified from road car chassis #026 for GTC Competition (", Built for BBA Competition for BPR in 1995, finished 10th in teams championship. I don’t want to be critical, but some of the others started very fast.”. This would be the final McLaren F1 GTR in competition in the world. Some cars, such as the Le Mans-winning chassis #01R, were put on public exhibition at motor shows or in museums. Jeff Hazell, who ran McLaren’s customs support operation, remembers the Finn’s raw speed: “He was astonishing. Three different versions of the race car were developed from 1995 to 1997. The fog, rain and spray during the night was as bad as many drivers could remember, but the conditions didn’t seem to bother Lehto. Built as a test and development car to replace the sold #10R. Accept, We have noticed that you are using the English version of our web site. Racing car developed and manufactured by McLaren Cars and BMW Motorsports for the FIA GT1 class racing, For more information on the development of the original road car, see, McLaren-BMW F1 GTR at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2009, CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (, Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Fastest speeds recorded since 1961 on the Hunaudieres straight and on the Mulsanne – Indianapolis sector", "Try Not To Cry As Pink Floyd Drummer Nick Mason Crashes His McLaren F1 GTR At Goodwood", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=McLaren_F1_GTR&oldid=964830743, CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown, Articles needing additional references from January 2017, All articles needing additional references, Articles needing additional references from March 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Modified from road car chassis #019 and used as McLaren test car. All images Copyright © 2015 McLaren Automotive. Gordon Murray, creator of the McLaren F1, originally saw his creation as the ultimate road car, with no intention to take the car racing. Although quick enough to take six pole positions over the season, the team struggled during races, managing only a single victory against a large variety of sportscars. BMW officially left the project at the end of 1997 in order to build their own Le Mans Prototype project, the BMW V12 LM. In the closing hours of the race, five McLaren F1 GTRs were still racing while only three WSC cars remained.
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