McLaren Ready for Total 24 Hours of Spa
When the Total 24 Hours of Spa is run later this months ten McLaren 12C GT3s will be driving in the race. One of the racers will be Chris Goodwin, McLaren’s chief test driver. He will be racing with the Von Ryan Racing team and will join drivers Rob Barff and ex-Formula One driver Bruno Senna. To make things a bit tougher at this year’s race the team will move into the GT Pro class.
Last year the team managed a very good fourth place finish in the 24 hour endurance race. However, this hard fought finish was in the Pro-Am class, so moving up to the higher class will give them a much harder test. None the less they believe that they have the car and drivers to move up to a podium finish.
You never know what may happen in an endurance races, but we will know how they finish later this month.
The 2013 Total 24 Hours of Spa will see a grid of at least 10 examples of the McLaren 12C GT3 later this month, with McLaren GT customer team Von Ryan Racing returning for a second consecutive year, moving into the Pro category for the first time. The driver line-up will see McLaren Automotive chief test driver Chris Goodwin return to the team, having contested the headline event of the Blancpain Endurance Series last year, and he joins team regular and former teammate Rob Barff and ex-Formula 1™ driver Bruno Senna.
Goodwin returns to the cockpit of the striking #88 McLaren for the Total 24 Hours of Spa, in which he and Rob Barff claimed a hard-fought fourth place in the Pro-Am category on the first attempt, less than 30 seconds off a podium finish after a gruelling 24 hours. For this year’s assault, the team is again led by former McLaren Formula 1 team manager Dave Ryan, with the support of Leon Price and Dragon Racing, and sees Goodwin and Barff reunited and joined for this one-off round of the Blancpain Endurance Series by Bruno Senna as part of his continued GT drive programme for 2013.
The driver line-up is particularly special for Chris Goodwin, who has managed Bruno Senna’s career, starting in junior racing and through seasons in Formula 1™. Commenting on the line up for the Total 24 Hours of Spa, Goodwin explained: ‘It is a fantastic opportunity to tackle my favourite race again with Von Ryan Racing, and it’s great to be back in the car sharing with Rob Barff. He has been racing with the team throughout the season, and has been one of the quickest and most consistent drivers on the grid. Of course, I’m really looking forward to racing with Bruno as well. We have worked together for many years now, but we have never actually driven together before so this will be a new experience for both of us. I’ve watched him race at Spa many times in GP2, Formula 1™ and in GT cars, and know how quick he can be. It should be a fun weekend!’
Commenting on joining the team, Bruno Senna explained: ‘I have really enjoyed the experience of racing in GTs so far this season, but this will be my first race in a McLaren. Obviously it is a brand that my family has close links with, and I am really honoured to have the chance to have the opportunity to race the 12C GT3 in the 50th year of the team. I am really looking forward to racing with Chris as well. We have worked together for a number of years, and it will be a lot of fun to race alongside him, and with the Von Ryan Racing team we hope to be able to get a strong result after 24 Hours at one of my favourite race circuits.’
Rob Barff, who has contested the opening three rounds of the Blancpain Endurance Series with Von Ryan Racing this season, explained: ‘The Total 24 Hours of Spa is a truly incredible event. It is the ultimate test of a car and a team in terms of durability and endurance, and we are using it as a way of showcasing the trackday operation in the Middle East run by Dragon Racing. I am very much looking forward to teaming back up with Chris after our strong result last year, and the addition of Bruno as our third driver puts us in a really strong position. An all Pro driver line-up is something new for the team, and the opposition is truly world class, but I am optimistic we can mount a credible challenge.’
The Total 24 Hours of Spa gets underway at 16.30 (CEST) on Saturday, 27 July and will see more than 60 cars line up on the grid.