The Woking car maker’s new racer will begin track testing in 2018 before being eligible for competition with customer teams in 2019.
It will pick up from the 650S GT3, which has garnered four titles including the Australian GT Championship and Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup since it succeeded the 12C GT3, becoming McLaren Automotive’s top racing model.
Power will come from a race-prepared version of the road 720S’s M840T twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8, driving the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential gearbox.
Race-spec bodywork and adjustable dampers with coilover springs are bespoke to the racer, although the Monocage II structure is shared with the road model.
The 720S GT3’s arrival also signals the launch of a new McLaren Automotive motorsport dealer network. McLaren Glasgow will be the first of 10 international retailers across Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region offering the brand’s competition cars.
Alongside its new retailer network, McLaren Automotive is also following Porsche, Ferrari and Lamborghini by launching its own one-make racing series. The McLaren-GT racing series kicks off next year and will feature its 570S GT4.
These less highly strung competition models will compete on European circuits, with Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps the first to be confirmed for the calendar. The series will be operated in an ‘arrive and drive’ format.
Additionally, McLaren Automotive is investing in four drivers via its newly formed Driver Development Programme, which is tasked with finding and nurturing future GT racing talent. Young hopefuls Jordan Albert, Charlie Fagg, Michael O’Brien and Lewis Proctor will be mentored by Rob Bell, McLaren’s factory GT driver, and compete in 570S GT4 racers from next year.
McLaren’s racing expansion falls under its road car arm, McLaren Automotive, which recently became the McLaren Group’s largest division with 2100 employees. The company’s Formula 1 programme is handled by McLaren Racing.