McLaren 720S GT3 to Make Racing Debut at Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi
The car will be shown to the public beforehand at the Bahrain GT Festival, in the home country of the automaker’s biggest investor.
McLaren Automotive announced Monday that its new 720S GT3 race car, developed entirely in-house, will make both its public and racing debuts in the middle east within a month.
The 720S GT3 is modified from the street car with a full roll cage and racing aero, to keep the car adhered to the tarmac. The torque curve from its 4.0-liter, twin-turbo M840T V8 has been optimized for racing, and fuel efficiency is increased to reduce the frequency of pit stops. It foregoes the road car's seven-speed dual clutch transmission for a six-speed sequential with an electronic actuator to improve operation. It also has heavily adjustable traction aids, including its differential, traction control, and antilock braking system.
It will launch for the public's viewing on Nov. 30 at the Bahrain GT Festival, in the homeland of Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, a 30 percent stakeholder in the McLaren Group. Until (and after) then, the 720S GT3 will continue to undergo a rigorous testing program, part of which will involve its race debut at the Gulf 12 Hours, an overnight endurance race held at Yas Marina Circuit, site of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. McLaren hopes this will ready the car for 2019 entry into the myriad international racing series that run FIA GT3-homologated machinery.
"We're looking forward to demonstrating the 720S GT3 at the Bahrain GT Festival, and really thrilled to be competing in the Gulf 12 Hours, which will end an exciting year for the motorsport team," stated Dan Walmsley, director of motorsport at McLaren Automotive. "The 720S GT3 is the first race car designed and built by McLaren Automotive and the development team has worked tirelessly to deliver the grueling test program we devised for the car. 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."