Podium and class victory for McLaren 720S GT3 on Bathurst 12 Hour debut

3 Feb 2020

  • Double success for Customer Racing team 59Racing and the 720S GT3
  • Second place overall finish in maiden race outing for 720S GT3 at Mount Panorama circuit
  • Class victory and solid top-10 result for Silver class entry against record-breaking grid

The McLaren 720S GT3 enjoyed a memorable first weekend racing at the world-famous Mount Panorama circuit in Australia with Customer Racing team 59Racing. The Australian team scored both a second place overall finish and class win with a pair of entries in the 2020 running of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, Australia’s premier GT endurance race.

Racing as part of a field of over 30 cars from all of the major marques in GT3 racing, the pair of 720S GT3s entered by the team outlasted the searing heat trackside and both came home in trophy-winning positions after 12 hours, covering a record-breaking 1,950 kilometres.

The #60 Pro class entry secured second place finish after a race-long battle for the podium positions, which saw the driver trio of Factory Driver Ben Barnicoat, former event-winner Alvaro Parente and Spa 24 Hours-winner Tom Blomqvist remain in contention throughout. Parente put the car on the front row of the grid during an intense qualifying session to put the team in a strong position for the start of the race, while teammate Dominic Storey in the #59 720S GT3 also found success claiming pole position in the Silver class.

Unique to the Bathurst 12 Hour event, the start of the race takes place ahead of sunrise, presenting the drivers with a new challenge as they take on the tricky 6.213km circuit in the dark for the first time. During the opening laps, the #60 car took an early lead in the opening hour of the race after a bold move by Barnicoat with the sun rising. A strategy gamble in the opening stages, combined with consistently being one of the fastest cars on track, saw the drivers battling for positions at the head of the field, remaining in contention throughout the full 12-hour battle. Late race drama for the leading cars saw a number of changes to the order at the front of the field, and with rain just starting to fall at the end of the event, Blomqvist brought the car home on the lead lap to secure an historic debut result. 

The strong performance by 59Racing in the Pro class was mirrored with the #59 Silver class entry. McLaren Professional Driver Martin Kodrić joined Australian GT race-winner Fraser Ross Australian GT Endurance champion Dominic Storey, and each showed impressive pace throughout. At the chequered flag, the trio took victory in the hotly-contested Silver class and secured an impressive eighth place finish overall, against a truly world-class field. Kodric, making his Bathurst debut, also set two of the three fastest laps of the race.

The 2020 edition of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour was a record-breaking event, watched by its largest ever trackside crowd of over 40,000 spectators. The entry list also featured a record 11 different GT3 manufacturers with 33 entries. During the race, the front-runners completed the most distance of any previous edition, covering 312 laps. 

Ends

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 creator of luxury, high-performance sportscars and supercars.

Every vehicle is hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Centre (MPC) in Woking, Surrey, England.

Launched in 2010, the company is now the largest part of the McLaren Group.

The company has defined product families: Sports Series, Super Series, Ultimate Series and Motorsport which are retailed through over 80 retailers in more than 30 markets around the world.

McLaren is a pioneer that continuously pushes the boundaries. In 1981, it introduced lightweight and strong carbon fibre chassis into Formula 1 with the McLaren MP4/1. Then in 1993  it designed and built the McLaren F1 road car - the company has not built a car without a carbon fibre chassis since. As part of the Ultimate Series, McLaren was the first to deliver a hybrid hypercar, the McLaren P1™.

Announced at Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2018, the company’s Track25 business plan will see it invest £1.2billion in research and development to deliver 18 new cars or derivatives by the end of 2025.

In 2018, the company launched the 600LT and the first two cars of Track25, the McLaren Speedtail, the next Ultimate Series, and McLaren’s first ever Hyper-GT, and 720S Spider. It also opened a new £50m McLaren Composites Technology Centre in the Sheffield region in the North of England that will see it produce the next generation of lightweight carbon fibre ‘tubs’ that are at the heart of all McLaren cars.

2019 saw McLaren launch the 600LT Spider confirmed as the third car of Track25, with a new GT car announced and the previously-confirmed track-only Senna GTR unveiled.

To support the development, engineering and manufacture of its range of innovative sportscars and supercars, McLaren Automotive partners with world leading companies to provide specialist expertise, technology and solutions. These include Richard Mille, Pirelli, Dell Technologies, Ashurst, AkzoNobel and OnePlus.

McLaren Group:
The McLaren Group is a global leader in luxury automotive and technology and comprises three businesses: Automotive, Racing and Applied Technologies.

Further information:

Piers Scott
Global Communications & PR Director | McLaren Automotive Limited
Phone:+44 (0) 1483 241380
Mobile: +44 (0) 7387548837
Email: piers.scott@mclaren.com

Paul Chadderton
Global Product Communications & PR Manager | McLaren Automotive Limited
Phone:+44 (0) 1483 261500
Mobile: +44 (0) 7990 776749
Email: paul.chadderton@mclaren.com

Dave Eden
Global Commercial & Brand Manager | McLaren Automotive Limited
Phone: +44 (0) 1483 262867
Mobile: +44 (0) 7500 857089
E-mail: dave.eden@mclaren.com   

Media website: cars.mclaren.press
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