23 Oct 2015
The world’s most exclusive McLaren owner experience has taken to the track for the first time at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain, as the debut McLaren P1™ GTR Driver Programme event saw seven examples of the track-only model let loose. Each owner got behind the wheel of the most powerful model ever produced by McLaren, supported by a dedicated pitcrew, around the home of Formula 1™ in Spain.
The McLaren P1™ GTR Driver Programme is the ultra-exclusive ownership programme, offering specialist driver training, human performance and access to the McLaren racing simulator ahead of on track activity. This programme has been designed to prepare each driver mentally and physically to allow them to fully exploit the abilities of the McLaren P1™ GTR, which produces 1,000PS (986bhp) and runs on race-proven Pirelli slick tyres. The programme is completely bespoke, with each individual having a fully-tailored experience, working closely with a support team from McLaren Special Operations (MSO) comprising authentic professionals that have operated within the rarefied world of professional motor sport.
Paul Mackenzie, Executive Director of McLaren Special Operations explained: ‘The McLaren P1™ GTR has been a unique project, where the design and engineering teams were not limited to the restrictions of a roadcar or a set of race regulations. As a result, the car is a no compromise racer, focused on track performance.
‘The McLaren P1™ GTR Driver Programme takes this offering to another level, providing owners with a unique experience, designed around each individual. No two drivers are the same, and this programme is bespoke to each skill set, with our team of professional driver coaches, engineers and technicians working closely with the drivers, as they would in a top flight motorsport team. This ensures the programme is adjusted accordingly to allow for the best to be seen of each driver and each car.’
A dedicated team of driver coaches supported the activities on track, led by McLaren Automotive Chief Test Driver, Chris Goodwin. The highly experienced team, each boasting a strong racing career, worked closely with each driver to achieve the best results. Goodwin explained: ‘The performance of each driver, and the improvements made over the course of the three days on track showed how effective the driver training programme in the build up to the event has been, and it proved to be a lot of fun! Every driver was close to the performance they showed on the simulator straight away, highlighting just how realistic the system is, and the bespoke nature of the programme, ensured each driver was engaged with the training at their individual levels.’
The effectiveness of the coaching and team support for the drivers was highlighted with two owners proving extremely competitive after recently announced Driver Mentor, Bruno Senna, set a benchmark laptime to work towards.
Goodwin added: ‘The driver coaches have a fantastic background in a range of sportscar, GT and single seater racing, and sharing this experience was invaluable and a real insight for our customers. As is the case with a race weekend, understanding and analysing data was crucial, and the bespoke nature of the Driver Programme worked to significantly improve each driver throughout the three days.
‘This first event gave the drivers the first taste of what the McLaren P1™ GTR can really do, and it has got each and every one of them hooked for the rest of the calendar. From here, we will visit some of the most exciting and challenging circuits around the world.’
Other locations on the debut McLaren P1™ GTR Driver Programme calendar include Sepang International Circuit (Malaysia), Circuit of the Americas (North America), Silverstone (UK), Autodromo Nazionale Monza (Italy), Red Bull Ring (Austria), Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), Bahrain International Circuit (Bahrain) and Yas Marina (Abu Dhabi).
Notes to Editors:
A selection of high resolution images accompanying this release is available to download from the McLaren Automotive media site – cars.mclaren.press.
About McLaren Automotive:
McLaren Automotive is a British manufacturer of luxury, high-performance sports cars, located at the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) in Woking, Surrey.
Following the global launch of McLaren Automotive in 2010, the groundbreaking 12C was launched in 2011, the 12C Spider in 2012, and the limited-run McLaren P1™ went into production in 2013. In keeping with its plan to introduce a new model each year, the company unveiled the 650S, in coupe and Spider form in 2014, and has announced the Sports Series among the models to be introduced in 2015. The brand continues to expand, and McLaren posted a profit during 2013 – only the third year of vehicle production. This was followed in 2014, by a third consecutive year of growth in sales with a record 1,649 vehicles delivered via a dedicated global network of retailers in every major automotive market.
McLaren Automotive Partners
To support the development, engineering and manufacture of its range of innovative and highly acclaimed sports cars, McLaren Automotive has partnered with world leading companies to provide specialist expertise and technology including, AkzoNobel, ExxonMobil, Pirelli and SAP.
Designed for the track; Developed for the road
The connection between Formula 1 and road cars at McLaren is a natural process of experience, knowledge, principles and process transfer. Through the integration of 50 years of Formula 1™ racing expertise and knowledge, and over 20 years of heritage in producing landmark sports cars, McLaren Automotive designs, develops and builds a range of technologically advanced and groundbreaking high performance sports cars which are designed to be a no compromise drive on both road and track.
McLaren has pioneered the use of carbon fibre in vehicle production over the past 30 years, and since introducing a carbon chassis into racing and road cars with the 1981 McLaren MP4/1 and 1993 McLaren F1 respectively, McLaren has not built a car without a carbon fibre chassis.
Global Communications Director | McLaren Automotive Limited
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