The biggest news to come from the British GT Championship’s media day is the news that McLaren are developing a GT4 version of its 570S to race in the British GT Championship.
Its the first time McLaren has built a car fit for the regulations of the second, more cost-effective, class of British GT and running the new car will be Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse.
Already running a McLaren 650S in the GT3 class, the team will be spearheading the development of the car throughout the course of the 2016 season before McLaren offer the car to customers for 2017.
While not confirming the driver line-up for the season, McLaren factory ace Rob Bell was entrusted with running the car during the media day tests at Snetterton, which was developed jointly with CRS GT.
The Managing Director of CRS GT, Andrew Kirkaldy, said of the car: “The 570S GT4 marks a key development of McLaren as a player in the motorsport world, opening the opportunity to race up to a much broader skill level of driver.
“With the 650S GT3, which raced competitively for the first time last year, there was a focus on drivability and the performance envelope was easier to access and exploit. The results speak for themselves, and the 570S GT4 model takes this to the next level and provides drivers the confidence and feedback to push and exploit the boundaries of what the car can do.”
McLaren themselves hope the introduction of the GT4 car will broaden their offer to potential customers. Mike Flewitt, McLaren Automotive’s Chief Executive Officer said: “As with the road-going models to wear a McLaren badge, the 570S GT4 and 570S Sprint models are about being an engaging and exciting drive. The launch of the Sports Series has broadened the McLaren brand to a new audience, introducing technologies to the sports car market and to a new group of customers. The introduction of the 570S GT4 is doing the same in the motorsport world, and will bring the opportunity to own and race a McLaren – previously limited to a very small number of people – to a much wider group.
“The decision to run the car in a live race environment has been taken to ensure the data retrieved is as accurate and optimised as possible, and it will ensure that the cars eventually delivered to customers have been tested to the extremities of how they will be raced. This programme will also provide key information and form the testbed for the 570S Sprint model which, as with the previous Sprint models, will not be subject to the rules and regulations of any specific race series.
“I am extremely pleased to welcome Ansar to McLaren Automotive in such a key role,” he added. “Motorsport is part of the lifeblood of the McLaren brand, and this role will be key to our long-term plans as we continue to expand the product range and customer-appeal around the world.”