Posted May 30th 2012 2:30PM
Think of the name McLaren and you're likely to conjure up images of two different things: grand prix racing and exotic supercars. Each of these two core areas of competence has its own division under the McLaren Group umbrella, but in between them sits a third division called McLaren GT.
The operation is dedicated to developing and supporting the above-pictured MP4-12C GT3 racing car, of which it has sold 25 examples to 13 teams currently fielding them in racing series across Europe and around the world. But while it has operated out of a dedicated facility in Leicestershire – a good two-hour drive down the M1 from the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking – the sports racing division is coming back home.
The new base for McLaren GT is being built near the group's state-of-the-art headquarters at the facility that housed the F1 team until 2004 when the MTC was completed. The 60,000-square-foot complex will include offices, garages, engine workshops and more all under one roof, in close proximity to the F1 team and the automotive assembly line, and most crucially, allow the sports racing division and its clients more direct access to the same simulators used by Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.
News Source: McLaren
Related GalleryMcLaren MP4-12C GT3
RACE CAR MANUFACTURER MCLAREN GT SET FOR NEW ENGINEERING CENTRE IN THE HOME TOWN OF MCLAREN GROUP
New race car manufacturer McLaren GT is announcing plans to establish a dedicated engineering and vehicle assembly facility close to the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) in Woking, southern England, one year after the stunning 12C GT3 made its racing debut as part of an intensive 2011 development programme. Close proximity to the headquarters of McLaren Racing and McLaren Automotive presents the McLaren GT team with an enhanced opportunity to share resources, technology and exchange ideas with the design and engineering specialists working in the other McLaren Group brands, and will promote further integration of McLaren GT into the Group.
McLaren GT was launched as a new brand within the McLaren Group early in 2011, and has supplied 25 12C GT3s for racing in Europe in 2012. A total of 13 customer teams are now working closely with McLaren GT engineers to develop their new race cars throughout the competitive 2012 season, and each team has the opportunity to test vehicle set-up using the same simulator programme used by McLaren Racing and Formula 1 World Champions Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.
Moving from its former home in Leicestershire, McLaren GT will now be based in the premises occupied by McLaren Racing between 1987 and 2004. During this period, McLaren Racing Formula 1 team won a total of five Constructors', and six Drivers' Formula 1 World Championships.
To accommodate McLaren GT's expanding sales, marketing, design and manufacturing operations, the 60,000 sq ft facility will provide office space, a large workshop area and preparation and test bays all under one roof, as well as a state-of-the-art engine development centre.
The site will also be home to a fleet of McLaren 12C sports cars, which are managed by McLaren GT and run as part of a customer test drive programme entitled 'Pure McLaren', which operates at multiple test locations across Europe.
Andrew Kirkaldy, Project Director for McLaren GT, said: "I am excited that McLaren GT will be establishing our operations so close to the home of McLaren Racing. We have a new race car that comprises a unique package of Formula 1-inspired technology, and we are working with customers to ensure the potential performance of the 12C GT3 is realised this season.
"This relocation underlines the commitment and support within McLaren Group that is behind McLaren GT, and will be a benefit as we aim to offer a world-class engineering support service to our new customer teams.
"We plan to develop our manufacturing programme and are actively considering production of multiple specifications of race cars for worldwide racing in 2013."