New CEO Zak Brown Wants McLaren To Return To 24 Hours Of Le Mans


McLaren Technology Group’s new American CEO Zak Brown has big plans for the U.K.-based manufacturer.

Brown told Autosport on Thursday he and other members of the McLaren organization are discussing the possibility of returning to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“We have won Le Mans and the race is in our history, and part of my job is to decide where the McLaren brand should race,” Brown told Autosport. “Going back to Le Mans is something we have identified and are discussing.”

In 1995, McLaren converted five F1 road cars into race cars, dubbed the F1 GTR, to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Not only did McLaren win its class, the No. 59 F1 GTR was the overall race winner, finishing one lap ahead of the fastest prototype.

Should McLaren return to the Circuit de la Sarthe, Brown said it would most likely compete in the GTE class. However, he reportedly wouldn’t rule out the possibility of developing an LMP1 car to try and repeat the F1 GTR’s success.

McLaren is still deciding whether it would develop a GTE car itself, or if it would delegate that responsibility to McLaren GT, the independent company that builds its GT3 and GT4 racers. Although, the head of McLaren GT, Andrew Kirkaldy, reportedly stressed in the past that the company would need McLaren’s support to be competitive in GTE, which is full of teams with factory-backing.

Despite Brown’s desire to return to the famed endurance race, he said the decision to do so ultimately would be made by McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt.

Thumbnail photo via McLaren

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