2013-specification 12C GT3 gets off to a winning start in Asia
New teams confirmed for global GT assault
March 28, 2013 – The 2012 GT season saw McLaren GT customer teams claim 38 podium finishes, with half of these on the top step. The 2013 season, which started in Asia over the weekend with the Malaysian Super Series, has continued this winning streak with the 12C GT3 claiming a brace of victories with new customer team Clearwater Racing. This was the competitive debut for the enhanced 2013-specification 12C GT3, and these results mark the first victories for McLaren GT, and the 12C GT3, outside Europe.
Clearwater Racing is the reigning back-to-back champion in the GT Asia Series, and has switched to the 12C GT3 for the 2013 season to defend the title. They are one of the new teams who have joined the McLaren GT customer programme for the 2013 season which will again see the 12C GT3 racing extensively through Europe, and also further afield.
In addition to Clearwater Racing, a further group of new McLaren GT customer teams are confirmed to compete in selected championships across Asia and Australia. Cars Tokai Dream 28 will race in the Japan Super GT series, AAI will take on the Taiwan Super Taikyu and GT Asia Series and the 12C GT3 will make its debut in Australia with VIP Petfoods Racing.
As in 2012, there will also be a strong McLaren presence in the Blancpain Endurance Series, which will have close to a total of 60 cars on the grid. Lining up for the five-date calendar, including the headline event of the year, the Total 24 Hours of Spa, will be at least ten 12C GT3s from ART GP, Boutsen-Ginion Racing, Gulf Racing UK, Molitor Racing Systems, Von Ryan Racing and 2012 FIA GT1 World runners-up Hexis Racing.
The Sébastien Loeb Racing team has taken delivery of two 12C GT3s over the winter, and will take part in the FIA GT Series with nine-time WRC champion Loeb at the wheel, with Round 1 taking place at Nogaro in France this weekend. The grid will see up to four McLarens present, with both cars from Sébastien Loeb Racing alongside the German team Doerr Motorsport, who will again also feature in the German VLN series.
The trio of French-based customer teams – ART GP, Hexis Racing and Sébastien Loeb Racing – will all campaign 12C GT3s in the competitive French GT Tour. Other European championship involvement will see Apex Racing and Bhaitech Racing running again in the Dutch Supercar Challenge and GT Open respectively.
Back on British soil, the highly experienced Preci-Spark team has confirmed plans to run the 12C GT3 in the 2013 Avon Tyres British GT championship. Together with the Anglo-American United Autosports team’s two cars, they will enter each of the 10 races on the calendar, kicking off this weekend, 1 April 2013, at Oulton Park.
Factory driver line-ups confirmed for 2013
In addition to enhancing the 12C GT3 for 2013, McLaren GT has also strengthened its factory driver programme over the winter. A number of GT3 customer teams have integrated these highly experienced drivers into their race programmes for the season.
Alvaro Parente will contest three European series, with three different teams. The young Portuguese will partner Sébastien Loeb in the FIA GT Series, alongside racing as part of the United Autosports line-up in the Avon Tyres British GT championship and join fellow works driver Alexander Sims with Hexis Racing in the Blancpain Endurance Series.
Having run two Pro-Am cars throughout 2012, Gulf Racing UK has announced it will run one of the 12C GT3s in the Pro category of 2013 Blancpain Endurance Series, with an exciting driver line-up including McLaren GT works duo Rob Bell and recently announced Adam Carroll.
Source – McLaren Automotive