McLaren's MP4-12C may still be a year away from reaching consumers' driveways, but the automaker is wasting no time drumming up interest for its latest road car. In keeping with the company's history (not to mention the "race on Sunday, sell on Monday" mantra), McLaren announced today it is in the process of crafting an MP4-12C racecar built to GT3 class regulations.
The MP4-12C GT3 is a joint venture of sorts, as development, construction, and oversight of the entire program is split between McLarren and CRS Racing, which is based in Leicestershire, England. The pair p plan on fielding the MP4-12C in a handful of European GT races in the 2011 season, but will offer customer cars starting in 2012.
"The 12C's architecture and design was always aimed at high-performance and ease of maintenance - two key criteria for potential customers," said Martin Whitmarsh, head of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes race team. "Combine that with the vast amount of racing experience in our automotive team, and CRS Racing's specialist development experience, and the 12C GT3 should be an exciting proposition for the top teams planning to race in GT3 from 2012."
McLaren and CRS note they plan on offering a limited number of 12Cs in 2012, but won't specify just how many examples will be offered to interested teams. CRS, however, will bear most of the responsibility for the program, as the company will be charged with build, sell, service, and support all MP4-12C GT3 customer cars.
"One of the most important aspects of this program will be customer service and for that reason we will be building a limited number of cars at a competitive price," Andrew Kirkaldy, CSR Racing team principal said in a prepared statement. "The result will be an incredible GT car with manageable running costs and good residual value that will provide its owner with an unrivalled experience."
Further details on the new race-spec McLaren will likely be announced at the Autosport International trade show in January.