It was in 1995 that a McLaren F1 GTR was driven to outright victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, beating a number of faster sports prototypes and making history in the process.
McLaren now plans to return to Le Mans, this time with its 720S GT3 Evo. The automaker announced on Friday that it will be ready in time for the 2024 World Endurance Championship, a series whose main event is the Le Mans race.
McLaren will partner with United Autosports for its entry, a team co-founded by Zak Brown, the current CEO of the McLaren F1 team. The team was founded in 2009 and has been present in the World Endurance Championship for a number of years, competing in the LMP2 class. Its best finish at Le Mans is fifth overall and first in class.
United Autosports’ application for its entry in the 2024 World Endurance Championship is still pending, McLaren said. For the LMGT3 class, the organizers are limiting places to allow for a greater diversity of teams and cars.
The 720S GT3 Evo that McLaren plans to enter made its debut earlier this year. It is based on the former 720S road car and benefits from improved aerodynamics and suspension over the original 720S GT3. Powering the car is a modified version of the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 found in the 720S. Here the engine is paired with a 6-speed sequential transmission instead of the road car’s 7-speed dual-clutch automatic.
While McLaren targets the LMGT3 class of the World Endurance Championship, rivals like Ferrari and Porsche, and soon Aston Martin (from 2025) and Lamborghini (from 2024) are competing in the premier Hypercar class, either with LMDh or LMH race cars.
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