The McLaren 570S GT4 Has Landed

The first of the supercars has been delivered to a private owner, and we got the first look.

© Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved

Our old friend Josh Snowhorn invited us out to The Circuit of the Americas in Austin last weekend. When Josh says “You should come check this out” it usually turns out to be pretty good, so of course I went. And Josh didn’t disappoint. 

Snowhorn had just taken delivery of his new McLaren 570S GT4 race car. The first one in private hands anywhere, to be more specific. And to celebrate, he and some friends rented out COTA for a full day private track. 

Snowhorn put in his order last June. There was a slight delay as McLaren delivered the first two to race teams competing in the GT4 European Series, but Chassis 003 finally arrived in Austin, ready to roll. Snowhorn isn’t announcing lap times, but will say it’s “several seconds” faster around COT than his matching 675LT

Since the GT4 is classified as a race car, Snowhorn will have to enter it in races in order to satisfy the EPA and Customs. Snowhorn’s love is track days, though. And there’s no better track day than renting out America’s only Formula 1 track for you and your friends.

An apparent coolant leak provides a bit of early morning drama, but the source is traced to an overfilled coolant reservoir. Former Angels pitcher CJ Wilson looks on. Wilson brought his racing team out to join in the fun and get some testing in at COTA. © Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
The GT4 is a curious mix of luxury and business. Alcantara dash meets roll cage and exposed electrics. It is by no means street legal, yet it doesn’t have the spartan feel of many dedicated race cars.© Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
As proof of it’s racing pedigree, the windshield sports external buttons for the kill switch and onboard fire suppression system. © Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
The grandstand reflection can’t compete with the gaping carbon fiber black holes of the hood scoops. © Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
Snowhorn leads the 7:45am driver’s meeting. It’s a pretty simple one. “Drive as much as you want, there’s a film crew and photographer and you’ll get all the footage and photos for free, lunch will be Franklin’s BBQ, take a break and drink some water.” After a few laps of rolling photos for anyone who wants them, the track goes hot for the next 8 hours. © Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
CJ Wilson isn’t the only celebrity to join in. Professional GT4 driver Jade Buford is in attendance, fresh off of a dominating win at Sebring two weeks before, in case anyone would like some coaching.© Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
Snowhorn’s 675 LT spends a lonely day in Garage 13. Snowhorn says it feels “terrible” since the new ride and it will be relegated to backup duty in case the new car needs time in the shop. The GT4 has much more downforce and vastly superior brakes. © Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
The harsh morning light at COTA does a good job of showcasing Snowhorn’s (notoriously hard to photograph accurately) MSO custom paint. © Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
There are always loads of McLarens when Josh and his friends are at COTA, but the second most popular choice is definitely the Porsche GT3 in its various configurations. Close to a dozen of them will take to the track, this day. © Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
Despite being a race car, the GT4 does come with a passenger seat. It gets plenty of use during the day, as few can resist a few laps in the GT4.© Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
Looking every bit like an ad for America, this Z06 Corvette made a long journey to take part in the fun.© Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
When paired with the gaping hood scoops, the GT4’s headlights look a good bit more menacing than the road-going model’s. © Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
The tower looms large at COTA, as Snowhorn glides through the Turn 16/17/18 combination.© Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
The standard 570S control panel gets a carbon fiber addition to house the GT4-specific switches. More of the unusual marriage of luxury and seriousness.© Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
The enormous head bolsters and hefty roll cage are also a stark contrast to the road-going version.© Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
The dash cluster is surprisingly high-tech for a dedicated race car. Snowhorn’s also includes four built in cameras and a fully integrated telemetry system. Also visible is the pit lane speed-limiter button on the carbon fiber steering wheel. On the left are the push-to-talk radio controls.© Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
Beefy racing lugs are a dead giveaway that this isn’t your average McLaren.© Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
The side scoops, temporarily decked out in orange, are another example McLaren’s incredible attention to detail. © Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
Snowhorn’s Track Rats are speed junkies. This Wolf GB08 made the trip to run at COTA. In the right hands, the Wolf is capable of doing a blistering 2:08 around COTA.© Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
Everyone wants a look at the GT4. It doesn’t sit for long without someone coming to check it out. © Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
Mountains of Franklin’s BBQ and sushi fuel the drivers during the one break in the day. After lunch, Snowhorn and two friends took a couple laps in their Ford Raptors. © Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
Perhaps the only thing overlooked the entire day was plates. Fortunately there was plenty of cardboard on hand. © Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
The things McLaren does with paint are just special. This Volcano paint job was also joined by a Mantis green McLaren that looked downright radioactive.© Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
This Martini-Liveried Porsche GT3RS goes stripe-for-stripe with COTA in the esses. © Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
The rear end of the GT4 carries the same diffuser as the street version, but adds a huge wing to the rear deck. Snowhorn claims the downforce increase is easily noticeable as compared to the active aero of the 675LT.© Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
CJ Wilson’s racing team brought a pair of GT3 Porsches and a BAC Mono to COTA. The Porsches easily set a rapid pace for the entire day.© Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved
All-day driving means tire changes. Here Snowhorn wrestles with the enormous amount of torque it took to free up the racing lugs. © Richard Shaub. All Rights reserved