McLaren Sports Series confirmed as the British GT Safety Car for a second season
13 Apr 2017
On the eve of the opening British GT Championship round at Oulton Park, McLaren Automotive has confirmed the extension of the official Safety Car partnership with the SRO-managed series. Throughout the season, a variety of models from the McLaren Sports Series will manage on-track safety and coordination of the bumper grid of GT cars, which will include six examples of the 570S GT4. The debut outing for the 2017 season will see the 540C Coupé lead the grid.
The Safety Car role is truly fitting for a McLaren. As with every model produced for road or track since 1981, safety is a key attribute with a carbon fibre chassis at the heart of each Sports Series model. The 540C Coupé, 570S Coupé, 570GT and the 570S GT4 share the lightweight MonoCell II, providing the highest levels of occupant safety.
Leading the field at each of the nine rounds over seven race weekends, the Sports Series Safety Car marks the seventh McLaren confirmed for what is shaping up to be one of the most fiercely-contested British GT championships in its 25-year history. Ciaran Haggerty and Sandy Mitchell return to the championship after completing the final stages of development throughout the 2016 season with the track-focused Sports Series model, joined for 2017 by Dean Macdonald and Akhil Rabindra as fellow GT Academy Drivers with customer team Black Bull Garage 59. McLaren Automotive test driver Gareth Howell will make his British GT championship debut in one of a pair of entries by In2 Racing, while Tolman Motorsport and track-club are confirmed with one example of the 570S GT4 each.
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 £1B 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.
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