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McLaren MP4-12C

McLaren has confirmed that it will return to GT sports car racing with its new MP4-12C supercar.

The GT3 version of the car is planned to compete from 2012 and is being jointly developed by McLaren and CRS Racing.

A "limited number" of the carbon chassis supercar will be supplied to European-based privateers, initially planned to compete in the 2012 European FIA GT3 Series. Development cars run by McLaren and CRS will also race in a limited number of European GT events in 2011.

McLaren claims that the 12C's lightweight one-piece moulded carbon "MonoCell" chassis, high levels of downforce and aerodynamic performance should lend themselves to circuit work, and the company hopes to repeat the success of its last production car based racer, the F1, which won the Le Mans 24 Hours on its debut in 1995.

Martin Whitmarsh, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Team Principal said: "Racing is in our blood – it was natural to develop a GT3 car alongside the 12C road car. We have a legendary history in global motorsport, including GT racing, and we aim to maintain that reputation with this GT3 programme, and any future sports car projects that may evolve.

"The 12C's architecture and design was always aimed at high-performance and ease of maintenance - two key criteria for potential customers. Combine that with the vast amount of racing experience in our automotive team, and CRS Racing's specialist development experience, and the 12C GT3 should be an exciting proposition for the top teams planning to race in GT3 from 2012."

UK-based CRS Racing will build, sell and support the GT3 race cars in collaboration with McLaren.

SOURCE: telegraph

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