Friday, January 18, 2013

McLaren Updates MP4-12C GT3 Racer for 2013, WRC Champion Loeb to Compete in FIA GT

Non-motorsport fans may overlook racing versions of sports cars but the fact is, they make for a very lucrative business for automakers that, naturally, are very happy to put some effort into them.

Like Ferrari, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz, McLaren has developed a GT3-spec variant of its MP4-12C supercar that was supplied to 13 customer teams last year. In its inaugural season, the 12C GT3 took part in 98 separate events, mostly in Europe, and claimed 19 victories and a further 19 podium finishes.

The Woking-based company revealed its upgraded 2013 racer that will be available to several new teams across the globe, with 15 additional orders already confirmed. For the first time, the 12C GT3 will also be available to individual customers who don’t win to race, but are willing to pay its £325,000 (US$520,000, €390,000) asking price.

The 2013-spec 12C GT3 features a revised aerodynamics package, an upgraded ECU and revised electrical system and alternative dampers. The upgrades will also be available as a package to 2012-car-owning teams.

Moreover, McLaren announced that nine-time World Rally Championship winner Sebastien Loeb will take part in the FIA GT Series. The Sebastien Loeb Racing team will field two 12C GT3s, one of which is reserved for Loeb himself and McLaren GT factory driver Alvaro Parente.

You can view an image gallery of the new car, along with a short video of the 12C’s first year in racing, after the break.

By Andrew Tsaousis
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