McLaren MP4 12C GT3 upgraded for 2013Comment on this story
McLaren's MP4 12C GT3 racer is about to become a world player. Last year there weren't enough of them to go round, so only 13 European-based teams were able to race them.
They competed in 98 GT3 races across Europe - including a handful of one-off races in Abu Dhabi, Azerbaijan and Macau - scoring 19 wins and a further 19 podium finishes, a remarkable record for a new car in its debut season.
This year, however, McLaren is building a lot more GT3 racers and will make them available to GT3 teams all over the world, as well as collectors and non racers who just want to use them as track-day cars.
Several new teams have already taken delivery of their 2013-spec cars and are confirmed for the forthcoming season - including back-to-back Asia GT championship winners Clearwater Racing; the striking chrome, red and green livery of their 12C GT3 will wear the number 1.
In addition, nine-times World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb has confirmed he will contest the six-race FIA GT Series, and his team, Sébastien Loeb Racing, will run two 12C GT3's, one for Loeb and the other for McLaren GT factory driver Alvaro Parente.
The 2013 production run also has a number of upgrades - all of which are available as a package to the owners of 2012-spec cars - which are intended, say McLaren, to make the car more drivable, more reliable, more efficient and less complicated to maintain.
They include a revised aerodynamics package (for better balance and more even tyre wear, according to McLaren) an upgraded ECU with a revised electrical system, new dampers and an uprated cooling system so the car can cope with higher ambient temperatures, breathing through a new bonnet with revised ducting.
The 2013 McLaren 12C GT3 costs £325 000 (R4.585 million) ex-factory, and it's eligible for all race series run under the FIA's GT3 rules.