TOP FIVE FINISH FOR 650S GT3 IN 2017 BATHURST 12 HOUR AFTER HEROIC COMEBACK DRIVE
6 Feb 2017
Defending Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour Champions Tekno Autosports claimed a hard-earned top five finish, and a podium in the Pro class, in the 2017 edition of the race. McLaren Factory Drivers Rob Bell, Côme Ledogar and Alvaro Parente staged a valiant never-say-die effort in the #1 650S GT3 at Mount Panorama, Australia after early setbacks left the trio at the back of the field.
The team refused to give up and was rewarded for its efforts with the strong finish, after an engine issue at the start of the second hour cost the team three laps. This came after the #1 had to start the race from the pit lane too, due to an overnight engine change following Qualifying. This left the drivers on the backfoot prior to the start of the race – a double blow after the team’s sister car was forced to withdraw from the event due to accident damage.
Bell’s strong opening drive in the early hours after the car rejoined the race set up a 10-hour fightback which culminated in the #1 650S GT3 climbing as high as P4 in the final dash to the flag. Ledogar’s closing stint in the car trailed an ironman performance by 2016 Bathurst 12 Hour winner Parente, who in-turn also benefitted from bold strategy calls by the team to move up the order.
In the end the car crossed the line just a single lap off the winner and less than a minute off the overall podium spots, proving once again the durability of the 650S GT3 as well as its raw performance over long distances.
Further down the order the #11 650S GT3 of customer team Objective Racing also made the finish of the gruelling endurance race P20 and an impressive P4 in the Pro-Am category. As with the leading Tekno Autosports car, it too suffered an early setback which resulted in it spending extended time in its pit box. Alex Davison, Warren Luff, Tim Slade and Tony Walls combined for an impressive run to the flag up against a highly-competitive and dense grid of Pro-Am GT3 runners.
Despite strong pace in the early stages and battling hard, the #37 650S GT3 of customer team Keltic Racing sustained damage while defending its position on the technical mountain section of the iconic circuit. The resulting damage forcing the team to retire from a solid top five position.
Notes to Editors:
A selection of high resolution images accompanying this release is available to download from the McLaren Automotive media site – cars.mclaren.press.
About McLaren Automotive:
McLaren Automotive is a British manufacturer of luxury, high-performance sports and super cars, located at the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) in Woking, Surrey. For the past 30 years, McLaren has pioneered the use of carbon fibre in vehicle production and since introducing a carbon chassis into racing and road cars with the 1981 McLaren MP4/1 and 1993 McLaren F1 respectively, McLaren has not built a car without a carbon fibre chassis.
Following the global launch of McLaren Automotive in 2010, the groundbreaking 12C was revealed in 2011, the 12C Spider in 2012, and the limited-run McLaren P1™ went into production in 2013. In keeping with its plan to introduce a new model each year, the company unveiled the 650S, in Coupé and Spider form in 2014, while 2015 proved to be a year of unprecedented growth of the product portfolio with five new models launched across the full range. The strictly limited edition 675LT Coupé premiered at the Geneva Motor Show alongside the track-only McLaren P1™ GTR which, with 1,000PS, became the most powerful model ever produced by the brand. The much-anticipated Sports Series became the third – and final – model tier in the McLaren range with the 570S Coupé and 540C Coupé debuting in New York and Shanghai respectively, less than one month apart. The end of 2015 saw the launch of the fifth model, the 675LT Spider, which was as a direct response to customer demand. The year also saw the end of production for the first model in the Ultimate Series as the 375th McLaren P1™ was completed, closing what had become a defining year for the British brand. 2016 continued where 2015 had left off with the introduction of the 570GT - a second bodystyle for the Sports Series and the most luxurious car McLaren has ever built, as well as the 570S GT4 and 570S Sprint track variants. 2016 also marked the introduction of the company’s new business plan, Track22, which sees the company investing £1 billion in Research and Development to deliver 15 all new cars or derivatives by the end of 2022, of which at least 50 percent will feature hybrid technology. The uplift in sales in 2016 also saw the launch of the second shift at the McLaren Production Centre as well as the company’s third year of profitability in just six years of trading.
McLaren Automotive Partners
To support the development, engineering and manufacture of its range of innovative and highly acclaimed sports cars, McLaren Automotive has partnered with world leading companies to provide specialist expertise and technology including, AkzoNobel, Pirelli and SAP.
Visit cars.mclaren.com for more details.
Global Motorsport Brand and Communications Manager | McLaren Automotive Limited
Phone: +44 (0) 1483 262867
Mobile: +44 (0) 7500 857089