Circuit debut for MP4-12C GT3
TRACTION: Without the road-car’s full array of stability intervention systems, MP4-12C GT3 is a proper tyre smoke generating racer.
LONDON, England - McLaren’s GT3 specification MP4-12C racer has successfully run its first circuit test session on the Silverstone circuit outside London.
Based on the soon to be launched MP4-12C, McLaren’s newest racing car traces a similar evolution as its previous supercar-derived racer - the legendary F1 GTR.
A collaborative effort between McLaren and CRS Racing, the MP4-12C used its first real-world test session to calibrate components and aerodynamic details.
McLaren and CRS Racing plan to undertake further tests at various FIA-approved circuits to finesse the GT3 racing package before supplying a limited number of MP4-12C GT3 racing cars for use by privateers during the 2012 season.
Unlike the GT1 and GT2 classes of sports-car racing, GT3 is very much a privateer affair. These cars contain a higher percentage of roadgoing components than their GT1 and GT2 FIA racing counterparts and manufacturers are not allowed to develop cars during the season.
MAKING BEST BETTER
CRS Racing has been fortunate enough to have a rather accomplished basic package from which to evolve the GT3.
McLaren’s MP4-12C is one of the most advanced supercars yet built and provides an outstanding array of engineering features, all intended for robust, high-performance driving. Despite this, there are obvious differences between the GT3 and road-going MP4-12C.
First, the GT3 car is nearly 100mm wider and has race-spec composite surfacing, including a fixed rear wing – all in the interest of aiding stability at race speeds.
In essence the road-going 3.8-litre V8 twin-turbo engine is retained, yet its gas exchange regime has been improved and McLaren’s technical specialists have tuned it to the limit allowed by GT3 regulations; so, expect a tidy power increase from the series production car’s 447kW.
The most profound engineering change for the GT3 car is its transmission: the road-going MP4-12C’s Italian-built Graziano seven-speed dual-clutch set-up has been replaced by all-new paddle shift system supplied by British firm Ricardo.
Akebono, brake system supplier to the McLaren F1 team, has been contracted to manufacture special callipers for the GT3 racer’s rotors, and an entirely new Bosch ABS system will harmonise the 12C GT3’s stopping power.
Racing enthusiasts can expect to see the 12C GT3 competing at a few FIA GT3 series events in Europe towards the end of 2011 before a number of cars line up to contest the entire 2012 season.