And, just like that, phase two of the McLaren takeover of the sports-car world is upon us. McLaren announced it will supply and support a new GT3 racecar based on its new MP4-12C for European privateers starting in 2012.
It's clear the company isn't rushing into its GT move. McLaren plans only a limited run of the 12Cs (shown in all its CGI glory), developed with British racing team CR Scuderia, for the 2012 European FIA GT3 Series, but will consider expanding the program as McLaren Automotive's road car business grows. No doubt McLaren hopes the MP4-12C will find similar success to its most notable former production-based racecar, the McLaren F1 GTR, which took the 1995 Le Mans 24—beating the prototypes—its first time out.
McLaren says it will also run a development season in 2011 with CRS, racing in a few European GT outings.
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh says the GT3 car was developed alongside the 12C road car. The company claims the 12C's lightweight one-piece carbon "MonoCell" chassis, the car's naturally high levels of downforce and aerodynamic performance will give it an leg (or a tub) up on competitors.
[via McLaren GT]