McLaren has begun track testing its new 720S GT3 racer, at locations across Europe, the U.S. and Middle East. The car is currently being prepped for its competition debut in 2019 when it will be eligible for all GT3 grids globally.
Before its track debut, the car underwent extensive computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. Now, it will endure a punishing test regime that’s mean to validate computer data and assumed long-distance durability.
“It was an incredibly exciting moment for us to see our new 720S GT3 begin the intensive track-based phase of a development program that we are confident will provide our customers with a first-class GT race car,” said McLaren CEO, Mike Flewitt. “Enabling our customers to go racing is integral to the business strategy of McLaren Automotive and we are committed to supplying teams with exceptional GT cars and the world-class support to get the most out of them.”
Like the road car, the 720S GT3 also features a light and very stiff carbon fiber MonoCage II chassis structure. Meanwhile, power is provided by a race-prepped version of the 720S’ M840T 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, albeit with an improved torque curve and new electronic shift actuator for the six-speed sequential paddle gearbox.
More than 90% of the regular 720S‘ components were changed or optimized for the GT3 version. Features include changes to the bodywork (bespoke splitter, floor assembly, dive-planes, GT3-spec wing etc), aerodynamics and suspension, a revised transmission, new braking system and loads more.
“The 720S GT3 is a significant car for McLaren Automotive. It still has the road car’s ability to deliver extreme performance in a way that all drivers can access, but taken to an altogether higher, racetrack level. Crucially it also forms a part of our growing customer-focused racing and business strategy which sees dedicated motorsport products developed in-house that drew on our rich pool of motorsport experience and expertise,” added McLaren sales and marketing exec, Jolyon Nash.
McLaren has confirmed that the price of the 720S GT3 is £440,000 ($565,407) Ex-Works.