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McLaren tests MP4-12C GT3 race car

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 00:00:00 -0800

We know the McLaren MP4-12C is fast. But how about the race-car version?

Perhaps lost amid the fanfare of the launch of the production car, McLaren has been hard at work on a competition model, the MP4-12C GT3. Testing has begun at the famous Silverstone circuit and at the MIRA proving ground in England.

The company, called McLaren GT, is conducting initial shakedowns for calibration and aerodynamic testing. Further tests will be conducted across Europe this spring.

The race car employs a tuned 3.8-liter turbo V8--just like that in the road car--and a new gearbox from Ricardo.

Meanwhile, the company has signed 26-year-old Alvaro Parente of Portugal as test driver.

McLaren says it plans to announce competition plans for the race car and a full driver lineup after testing.

By Greg Migliore