McLaren confirm new track beasts
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McLaren Automotive has confirmed two new track-only models of the recently-launched Sports Series with the introduction of the 570S GT4 and the 570S Sprint, developed in conjunction with the motorsport division of the Woking brand, McLaren GT and GT racing specialists, CRS GT Limited. Unveiled ahead of its final development phase, the GT4-specification model will take on an intensive season-long development programme in the British GT championship. McLaren GT and CRS GT Limited will work with recently confirmed customer team Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse throughout the season, with the 570S GT4 contesting the full nine round calendar, which includes the famous Spa-Francorchamps. The programme will be the truest and most rigorous testing schedule in live race environments. Echoing the previous models to wear the Sprint badge, the 570S Sprint will be unrestricted by racing regulations and dedicated for trackdays, but upgradable to a full GT4 specification. Further details of this model will be confirmed in the coming weeks.
In addition to the confirmation of the latest Sports Series models is the appointment of Ansar Ali to the role of Motorsport Director. The newly-created role highlights the key focus on motorsport for McLaren Automotive, and Ali will be responsible for the on- going strategy and management of motorsport activities moving forward.
Commenting on the latest additions to the Sports Series, Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive explained: ‘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.’ He added: ’I am extremely pleased to welcome Ansar to McLaren Automotive in such a key role. 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.’
Ansar Ali, Motorsport Director, McLaren Automotive added: ‘I am extremely proud and honoured to be joining McLaren Automotive at such a pivotal time for the brand. Activities on track have played such a significant part in the history of making the brand as globally recognised as it is today. The opportunity to play a major part in shaping its future motorport strategy is extremely exciting, and the 570S GT4 and 570S Sprint models are an important initial step.’
Commenting on the programme, Andrew Kirkaldy, Managing Director, CRS GT Limited added: ‘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.’
The McLaren 570S GT4
The track-only 570S GT4 shares the carbon fibre MonoCell II chassis architecture with the other models in the Sports Series. This marks the first time the technology has been made available in the GT4 category, and the race-derived material is of clear benefit with inherent strength and light weight. Driver protection is further enhanced with the addition of an FIA-approved rollcage and fire extinguisher system. Carbon fibre and aluminium are used for the reprofiled bodywork, which is formed over wider track front and rear to accommodate centre-locking lightweight cast magnesium alloy wheels shod with slick Pirelli racing tyres. Two-way adjustable motorsport dampers with coil-over springs are fitted front and rear, and an on-board air jacking system is fitted as standard.
With a pure focus on laptimes, the 570S GT4 features a unique aerodynamic package which includes a GT4-specification high level rear wing, mounted on aluminium pylons, a larger front splitter and reprofiled floor assembly. An additional front centre high temperature radiator sits below a GT3-inspired bonnet with radiator exit ducts. These upgrades have been designed to optimise the aerodynamic performance and cooling of the 570S GT4 to ensure it is able to perform in the harshest race conditions globally.
The McLaren designed and developed 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 M838TE engine is carried over from the road-going Sports Series model. The seven-speed seamless shift gearbox is also familiar to the other models in the range, transferring power to the track via the rear wheels.
Black Bull Ecurie Ecosse will run one example of the 570S GT4 alongside the confirmed entry of the 650S GT3 with Factory Driver Rob Bell alongside Alaisdair McCaig. Driver details for the season will be announced shortly.
The 570S GT4 will make its public development debut at the opening round of the British GT Championship at Brands Hatch, UK over the weekend 16-17 April. Going forward, it will be eligible for all GT4 homologated championships globally from the 2017 season.