McLaren 650S GT3 at Spa
The McLaren 650S GT3 is in its first racing season. The customer competition machine is being put through its paces and has shown to be very competitive. The most recent test was at the 24 Hours of Spa.
The endurance race that was part of the Blancpain Endurance Series season let the English car get some very good real world testing. The race was very competitive and as is always the case with such a long race, you need a good car, good drivers and a bit of luck to come out on top.
The two 650S GT3s entered by Von Ryan Racing had their ups and downs in the race. Both had a very good qualifying, starting in the front row and the #58 McLaren took an early class lead. For a while things looked as if it could be a walk away victory for the car as it continued to lead the PRO class followed by the #59 car. Both McLarens made it look easy for a while.
Then the rain started to fall and track incidents started to happen. In a 24 hour race it is often these incidents that make the difference between winning and loosing. Such was the case for the 650S GT3s at Spa.
After the dust cleared the #59 car managed a good 10th place after falling behind in the very competitive PRO class. The #58 car that had led much of the race had to call it quits early thanks to an engine sensor failure that happened with just two hours left in the competition.
Andrew Kirkaldy, Managing Director, McLaren GT said about the race:
“What a race. From the first practice and qualifying sessions, the cars, the drivers and the team has worked perfectly, and qualifying showed that the 650S GT3 really is here as a true contender. The race itself was one of the most exciting I can ever recall watching here, and Spa has played host to some fantastic battles over the years. To have six different manufacturers all in with a shot of taking the overall race win at different points shows the competitive nature of the Blancpain Endurance Series, and it was tense all the way to the end.”
“It was also the most extreme test the 650S GT3 has faced to date, and to qualify on the front row lead from the start, and then pose a competitive threat for the full 24 hours is a real achievement by Von Ryan Racing and the team involved with the car. We have seen success in other endurance races already this season, but a 24 hour race, and racing at Spa just makes everything even more challenging.”