The McLaren MP4-12C GT3 will not be going on vacation this summer. Instead, it will be hard at work as the 2012 motorsports season serves as the competitive racing debut for the GT3 race car.
In short, there will be 25 MP4-12C GT3 cars racing in the FIA GT1 World Championship this season. It all begins next month at the season opener, when 10 GT3s line up on the track in Monza, with each racer dressed in liveries of ART, ASM, Boutsen Energy, Gulf Racing, Moliter Racing, United Autosports, and Von Ryan Racing. Before that happens though, the McLaren MP4-12C sports car will make an appearance as the safety car in the FIA GT1 World Championship race at the Nogaro circuit in France on April 8 and 9.
German tuner Gemballa also announced it will make its GT racing debut with a pair of McLaren MP4-12C GT3 racers, which will also make their way to "Green Hell" to compete in the 24 Hour Nurburgring endurance race in May. Apex Motorsports will also race the GT3 in selected rounds of the British GT championship.
At the helm of the GT3 racers will be top-notch professional drivers, including Mark Blundell, David Brabham, Jack Clarke, Rob Bell, Alvaro Parente, Alexander Sims, and McLaren Automotive Chief Test Driver Chris Goodwin, although he will only participate in selected races.
Although one GT3 already crashed out and another suffered a fire at the McLaren’s endurance debut at Spa, Andrew Kirkaldy, project manager for McLaren GT said in a release, "I’m excited that we are so close to seeing the 12C GT3 in its first full race season. The feedback I have received from customers that have already taken delivery of the car is very positive."
With a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-8, detuned from 592 hp to around 493 hp to meet class rules, along with a six-speed sequential gearbox designed for racing, the GT3 has all the ingredients needed to tear up the track. For more McLaren MP4-12C action, check out the two official McLaren videos below.