Currently reading: McLaren Senna 'won't go racing'
GTE version of McLaren's track-focused Ultimate Series hypercar won't be developed to race in WEC, CEO Mike Flewitt confirms

McLaren has no plans to take its new Senna hypercar racing, company boss Mike Flewitt has confirmed.

The Senna had been tipped to be the car McLaren would return to frontline GT racing with, with the development of a GTE (Grand Touring Endurance) version that would pave the way for McLaren to return to competing at Le Mans level.

The Senna has been created with the intention of being a focused tool optimised for track use, and it has now been seen in the two guises McLaren will offer it in: the standard, road-legal model and the track-only GTR version revealed today at the Geneva motor show.

It's understood the GTR was prioritised to appease customers who missed out on the initial batch of Sennas and also due to the greater financial returns the project would offer over developing a GTE race car to the current rules.

Flewitt said that McLaren is "not going to race" the Senna, either through the Automotive division he heads or the McLaren Racing F1 arm, which is open to other types of racing (as demonstrated by Fernando Alonso's Indy 500 attempt in 2017) but will not chase a World Endurance Championship (WEC) – and therefore Le Mans – entry with the Senna.

"This is it, the whole concept," said Flewitt on the two Sennas created to date. "It's the fastest road-legal track car, and it lets us take things like light weight and huge downforce to push boundaries. Doing a track-only version is a typical McLaren thing to do."

Flewitt said that the firm could use the Senna name in the future again, but that it was unlikely and there are currently no plans to do so.

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Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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GODFATHER 7 March 2018


what a pity that such a good car maker is tainted by that joke of a F1 team. Maybe they need to put people from the automotive department into the F1 operation.