Track testing of the first GT race car to be developed by McLaren Automotive’s new customer racing division is well underway and will see the McLaren 720S GT3 test extensively across Europe, the US and Middle East. The new GT3 challenger, which is based on the acclaimed 720S supercar, is being readied for its competition debut in 2019 when it will be eligible for all GT3 grids globally.
The track-based phase of the development programme follows extensive computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and incorporates a punishing test regime that will validate key performance data and long-distance durability.
As with the road car, at the heart of the 720S GT3 is the light but immensely stiff carbon fibre MonoCage II chassis structure. When the 720S GT3 carries the McLaren banner into customer GT3 racing in 2019, it will join the McLaren Sports Series 570S GT4 race car, which claimed eight championship titles in its debut season in 2017, and has now recorded more than 50 class wins in the hands of customer teams globally. The combination of changes to bodywork, aerodynamics and suspension; revised transmission and a new braking system and the performance of the Pirelli racing tyres will deliver a significantly enhanced car born to race on the most demanding circuits.
The innovative aerodynamics of the 720S road car have been further developed to deliver even greater race track stability and aerodynamic efficiency. The lightweight, carbon fibre and composite body panels are all unique to the 720S GT3, while a bespoke splitter, floor assembly and dive-planes distinguish the front and the tail gets an aerodynamically-optimised GT3-specification rear wing.
The engine of the 720S GT3 is a race-prepared version of the McLaren M840T 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, enhanced to deliver both an improved torque curve for traditional racing as well as even greater efficiency for endurance events. The six-speed sequential paddle gearbox is equipped with a new electronic shift actuator to increase shift-speed, usability and reliability. An externally adjustable Salisbury-type limited slip differential is fitted, as are cockpit-adjustable traction control and ABS driver aids.
Further information on the 720S GT3 can be found at cars.mclaren.com/customer-racing/models/720S-GT3.