McLaren to give 720S GT3 race debut next month

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McLaren to give 720S GT3 race debut next month
By: Gary Watkins
Nov 26, 2018, 10:38 AM

The new McLaren 720S GT3 will make its race debut in next month's Gulf 12 Hours enduro in Abu Dhabi.

The first racing car developed by McLaren Automotive's new in-house motorsport department will contest the event made up of two six-hour races at the Yas Marina circuit on December 15 ahead of its homologation in GT3 next year. 

The car will be run by a team from McLaren Automotive and driven by a trio of drivers who have yet to be announced. 

Strong candidates include McLaren factory drivers Rob Bell, Ben Barnicoat and Joe Osborne. 

McLaren will stay in the Middle East after the event to continue development testing of the new GT3 car. 

McLaren Automotive director of motorsport Dan Walmsley said: "We’re sure we’ll have plenty to learn during the race, and we’ll continue with testing after the event. 

"This is an important product for McLaren Automotive, and therefore we have committed to ensuring that our customers receive a product worthy of carrying the iconic brand.”

The 720S GT3 will also be demonstrated at this weekend's Bahrain GT Festival, which incorporates the GT Nations Cup.

McLaren announced its intention to develop its third-generation GT3 car in-house in November 2017 and revealed that it had begun development testing of the car in August. 

The previous MP4-12C and 650S GT3 cars were developed between 2010 and '16 by CRS GT under licence from McLaren. 

A long-running legal dispute between McLaren Automotive and CRS concerning who had the rights to provide parts and service for those cars, as well as the 570 GT4, in the future was settled last week.

McLaren 720S GT3

McLaren 720S GT3

Photo by: McLaren Automotive Limited

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Series GT
Author Gary Watkins