Without road-car regulations to hold it back, the McLaren P1 GTR pushes everything to the limit
By Richard Kollins
O wning a car is one thing, but having a car in your personal stable whose sole purpose is to test your skills on a special track — now that’s the stuff of an automotive fanatic’s ultimate fantasy. The McLaren P1 GTR, of which only 35 are being made, is the highest tech track car ever made. Specifically, the car is not homologated for any professional competition, but for the owner’s ultimate personal track experience.
Most GTR owners have already “spec’d” their cars out with the McLaren techs at the factory in Surrey, England. Those who want to store their $3-million price-tagged cars can opt to leave them in the care of the factory, and the automaker will bring them to organized track days. When the cars aren’t being driven at warp speeds, a team of technicians and engineers at the factory will continually maintain an owner’s GTR.
While the anticipation of getting on the track is the best build up, the second most exciting day, next to taking to the track, is an owner’s Grand Reveal, the ultimate first viewing experience. Owners are greeted with a champagne reception and then escorted to a private viewing facility, where sliding doors open for the first look of their supercar.
But when it’s race time, get ready. McLaren Special Operation (MSO) offers its customers a unique McLaren P1 GTR Driver Program to fully exploit the ownership experience. As Paul Mackenzie, McLaren P1 GTR program director explains, “The program is about enabling our drivers to get the most out of both the McLaren P1 GTR and themselves. Before they get out on the track, each driver will join us at the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) and have unprecedented access to our cutting-edge facilities, including the racing simulator. They’ll build up a greater understanding of the car’s capabilities and true performance, as well as learning braking and turn-in points, before they arrive at the circuit. It also allows them to analyze and discuss their performance ahead of testing themselves in the real-world situation.”
Mackenzie explains that the program was developed for its own Formula 1 team.
“It’s not just about fitness, but looks at the full wellbeing of the driver, preparing them mentally and physically for the adrenaline of an unforgettable track experience.”
Upon completion of the initial training at the MTC, owners will be challenging Formula 1 Grand Prix circuits, with six exclusive events during the year. A dedicated McLaren team of head engineer and driving coaches will analyze the telemetry and videos to hone skills with drivers for that perfect lap. The tuition for this one-on-one program is tailored to each driver’s skill level.
So what’s under the hood? Like the P1, it has a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 hybrid powertrain, but can deliver nearly 1,000 horsepower. Engineers have rid the P1 GTR of excess weight and outfitted it with equipment specifically for the racing circuit. Expect this P1 GTR to break the track times of Formula 1 cars of not long ago.
Seemingly, with McLaren literally inventing the hyper (street driven) car and taking it to an all new level with the P1 GTR, the game seems over.