McLaren back in GT after 12-year gap

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The Independent Online

McLaren are to return to sportscar racing next season after more than a decade's absence. The Woking-based outfit's main target is 2012 when they aim to run in the European FIA GT3 series with racing cars based on their new road-going model currently in production, the MP4-12C.

As part of the development programme, McLaren, who have teamed up with successful Leicestershire-based race team CRS Racing, are to compete at a limited number of European GT races in 2011.

The McLaren team principal, Martin Whitmarsh, said: "Racing is in our blood, so it was natural to develop a GT3 car alongside the 12C road car.

"We have a legendary history in global motorsport, including GT racing, and we aim to maintain that reputation with this GT3 programme, and any future sports car projects that may evolve."

It is 15 years since the McLaren F1 GTR won the Le Mans 24 Hours and 12 years since they last competed in the event, their last venture in sports cars.