Phil Quaife, along with teammates Adam Christodoulou, Glynn Geddie and Roger Wills gave the McLaren MP4-12C a finish it the GT car's first 24 hour race at Spa-Francorchamps.
The quartet took control of one of three of the new cars at the Belgian endurance race, and while the other two failed to complete the distance – just two retirements of a gruelling event that saw man of the leading teams retire from the race. However, the no.60 VonRyan Racing run car completed the event, just outside of the top ten in class.
Quaife, a regular with the CRS Racing squad that had helped develop the car, showed the potential of the car in practice ahead of the event, putting the car fastest in the first session on a drying track. A disappointing qualifying followed, the 25-year-old hampered by a flurry of red flags and having to settle for a 38th place start in the bumper 62 car field.
At the start of the Quaife again took the lead role in the team, taking the first two hour stint on a crowded track, steering clear of the sort of clashes that took place throughout the field.
Surviving the first stint, Quaife handed the car over in the overall top ten, giving the team a firm foundation for the following 22 hours. The car eventually finished 25th overall, eleventh among the Pro-Am Cup entrants.
“To get a brand new car to the finish of its first 24 hour race is an exceptional achievement, so I must say a big thank you to the team for all their efforts over the past week,” said Quaife. “The car, which is one of the best I've ever driven, performed well and proved very easy to drive, which is a huge bonus in long distance racing.”
“Personally, I feel exceptionally privileged to be part of the McLaren 12C GT3's development programme and I'm sure the #60 car's performance will contribute towards that enormously. We've been fast and consistent throughout the week and ultimately that proved crucial in making the chequered flag.”
Though the crew lost ground to the leaders throughout the race, the squad behind the car was satisfied with the result, and with the data they had gained to help develop with aim of McLaren launching a full customer program next year.
Quaife's next scheduled racing comes in the more familiar CRS Racing Ferrari at the Silverstone round of the Le Mans Series in September.