Impressive lap times marked a positive result for McLaren GT in its debut 24 hour endurance race. The team was also able to verify the safety of the car following a high speed incident.
Car 60, which ran in partnership with future McLaren customer team VonRyan Racing, impressed as it finished its endurance race debut at Spa-Francorchamps. A team of drivers assembled specifically for the race included Phil Quaife, Adam Christodoulou, Glynn Geddie and Roger Wills. At the hands of Christodoulou, the 12C GT3 achieved a best lap time of 2:23.214 on lap 256.
Chris Goodwin, McLaren GT Chief Test Driver said: “The performance of the 12C GT3 and its drivers in car 60 was equally pleasing. Feedback from the team’s engineers and drivers indicates that the 12C GT3 is meeting its reliability and driveability targets.”
Early in the race Kirkaldy’s number 59 car was hit by a competitor, forcing the 12C GT3 into the wall at turn 1. Kirkaldy was cleared of any serious injury at a nearby hospital following a precautionary scan. The carbon chassis car was subsequently placed in Parc Ferme at the circuit and awaits inspection by the McLaren GT team engineers.
Andrew Kirkaldy said: “I’ve had the opportunity to review the incident and the impact was clearly significant. If anything positive can be drawn, it’s that we are delighted to be using the 12C’s carbon ‘MonoCell’ chassis. It proved an incredibly robust safety cell for the driver. Just a few hours after the incident I was back at the circuit with the team.”
Car number 58, the third car in the McLaren GT line-up, was retired by the team following a fire. The cause of the incident will be investigated once the car is released from Parc Ferme at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit and returned to the UK.
McLaren GT will continue to develop the MP4-12C GT3 throughout the 2011 season, with plans to enter the Blancpain Endurance Series races at Magny-Cours and Silverstone later this year, prior to delivering 20 MP4-12C GT3 cars to private teams for racing in 2012.