McLaren's new MP4-12C GT3 car will make its race debut at Navarra in Spain later this month. The GT3, which is based on the MP4-12C road car, will compete in the second round of the Blancpain Endurance Series, for which GT3 and GT4-spec machinery is eligible.
McLaren GT, which forms part of the McLaren Group that also includes McLaren Racing, has developed the car along with experienced GT team CRS Racing, which will run the car at several races this year.
"McLaren has racing in its blood and it was a natural step to take our MP4-12C road car and turn it into the most reliable, efficient and easy to drive GT3 car," McLaren Group CEO Martin Whitmarsh said. "We have worked with CRS Racing to ensure the 12C's design and development program is as close as possible to one McLaren Racing would employ in developing a Formula 1 car.
"The team at CRS is well qualified to shape decisions in this area as they have an outstanding record in racing GT3 cars, and understand what is required to be successful in that level of competitive motorsport. In return, McLaren Racing is able to bring new levels of technology to GT3 racing. No other GT3 car in 2012 will be supplied with a road-car carbon chassis, or a steering wheel and other associated technology from a Formula 1 car."
CRS team principal Andrew Kirkaldy will join Oliver Turvey and Alvaro Parente, who has conducted much of the car's testing, in the driver lineup. After Navarra, CRS will enter the Blancpain races at Magny-Cours and Silverstone, and could also take part in the series' showpiece event, the Spa 24 Hours.
McLaren's aim is to use this year for developing the MP4-12C and then to make 20 examples of the car available to customers for 2012.