First tests of McLaren's new GT3 race car take place at MIRA and Silverstone
11 March 2011

McLaren Automotive has given its new MP4-12C GT3 racer its debut tests at MIRA and Silverstone.

The shakedown tests of the car developed with CRS Racing have centred on appraising new aerodynamic parts and calibrating bespoke new components.

The tests were carried out by McLaren GT project manager Andrew Kirkaldy and chief tester Chris Goodwin following extensive development of the car in the McLaren simulator in Woking. Further track tests will continue at various European circuits throughout March and April.

The racer uses the same 75kg one-piece carbonfibre MonoCell chassis as the road car. The road car’s 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 also features, albeit “tuned to race specification”. The Ricardo-designed gearbox with bespoke paddle shifters designed specifically for racing sends power to the rear wheels.

A new Bosch Motorsport ABS system features and there are also new electronics. McLaren Racing has developed a new aerodynamics package including a new front splitter, door blade, large fixed rear wing and louvers in the front bumper.

Watch Autocar's video review of the new McLaren MP4-12C

Bespoke motorsport braking and suspension systems are included, but the road car’s ProActive Chassis Control System does not feature due to GT regulations, negating the requirement for an anti-roll bar. Instead it gets race-specific roll bars and dampers.

Mclaren has also confirmed it has signed 26-year-old Portuguese driver Álvaro Parente to join its test team. The MP4-12C GT3 is expected to compete in a limited number of European GT races in 2011, with final production ready for customers in 2012.

Our Verdict

McLaren 12C

The McLaren 12C has extraordinary pace and handling, but is a touch clinical

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