McLaren’s first safety car will pace Britain’s No.1 GT series

Launched in 2015 as McLaren’s first sports car priced under $200,000, the 570S is also the company’s first model to become a safety car. The brand’s entry-level coupe was chosen by the Stéphane Ratel Organisation (SRO) as the official safety car for the 2016 British GT Championship. The 570S Safety Car will support each of the nine rounds over seven race weekends and pace a grid that includes cars such as the Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3, BMW Z4 GT3, Lamborghini Huracan GT3, and the Audi R8 LMS.

This year’s British GT Championship will also feature the McLaren 650S GT3 and the brand-new 570S GT4, which will run its development season in the series.

"Motorsport is a key element to the make-up of McLaren – both in terms of our hugely successful history but also the extremely exciting future. This latest partnership with the British GT Championship underlines the common links between McLaren road-going and track-dedicated models," said Ansar Ali, McLaren Automotive’s newly-appointed Motorsport Director.

Much like any safety car, the 570S received a few exterior upgrades such as a light bar on the roof, "Safety Car" graphics on the doors, and "British GT" and "Pirelli" decals. Inside, the only addition is a radio system. Everything is stock under the hood, meaning that the safety car uses the twin-turbo, 3.8-liter V-8 to put 562 horsepower and 443 pound-feet on the ground. This should be more than enough to pace the powerful race cars competing in the British GT Championship.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

McLaren 570S Becomes Safety Car Of 2016 British GT Championship High Resolution Exterior
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Having a safety car in a motorsport series outside famous competitions such as Formula One, IndyCar or NASCAR doesn’t do much to boost sales and McLaren isn’t the type of manufacturer that would need such marketing. However, the move is an important step for both the British automaker and the new 570S, which are making their debut in the safety car world. It’s worth mentioning that the 570S is McLaren’s first-ever safety car since it began manufacturing street-legal vehicles, not including the SLR co-developed with Mercedes-Benz. The partnership with SRO also means that McLaren will field three different vehicles in this year’s British GT Championship.

McLaren 570S Coupe

2016 McLaren 570S Coupe High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the McLaren 570S Coupe here.

Press Release

McLaren Automotive has confirmed it will be the official Safety Car partner of the SRO-run British GT Championship for the 2016 season, ahead of the opening round this weekend at the famous Brands Hatch circuit. The partnership will see the McLaren 570S Coupé take a lead role in safety and management of the field of GT cars which will include the 650S GT3 and, completing its development season exclusively within the Championship, the recently announced 570S GT4.

McLaren 570S Becomes Safety Car Of 2016 British GT Championship High Resolution Exterior
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The 570S Coupé Safety Car will support each of the nine rounds over seven race weekends, tasked with heading one of the most competitive grids the Championship has ever seen, and ensuring maximum safety for all competitors at all times. Safety is at the very core of the 570S Coupé which features a lightweight, inherently strong carbon fibre chassis – as has every McLaren built for road or track since the MP4-1 Formula 1™ car which contested the 1981 season.

The 570S Coupé was the first model to be launched in the McLaren Sports Series. This third model tier joins the Super Series and Ultimate Series, and brings McLaren technology to the sports car market for the first time. With motorsport-derived technologies and performance figures to rival many supercars in the segment above, the 570S Coupé is at home on track as it is on road. Power is channelled through the rear wheels from a mid-mounted 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 engine generating 570PS (562bhp) and 600Nm (443lb ft) of torque, and this combination of light weight and performance produce a power-to-weight ratio of 434PS per tonne. Acceleration from zero to 100 km/h (62mph) takes just 3.2 seconds, while 200km/h (124mph) is achieved in 9.5 seconds and on to a top speed on 328 km/h (204mph).

Commenting on the new partnership with the British GT Championship, Ansar Ali, Motorsport Director at McLaren Automotive, explained: ‘Motorsport is a key element to the make-up of McLaren – both in terms of our hugely successful history but also the extremely exciting future. This latest partnership with the British GT Championship underlines the common links between McLaren road-going and track-dedicated models.

‘The 570S Coupé has received universal praise from the media and customers since it was launched, equally at home on road as it is on track and so is a natural fit as the Safety Car for the Championship. It also complements a strong McLaren presence on the grid, joining the 650S GT3, which has already proven itself as hugely competitive and successful on the world stage, and the 570S GT4, which is being put through its toughest test this season during its final development phase.’

McLaren 570S Becomes Safety Car Of 2016 British GT Championship High Resolution Exterior
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Stephane Ratel, SRO Motorsports Group Founder and CEO added: ‘We are very pleased to confirm McLaren Automotive as the official Safety Car partner for British GT in 2016. I believe it is testament to the growing stature of the championship that such an icon of British and world motorsport recognises British GT as the ideal platform to showcase its road and GT racing products. That is reinforced by the decision by McLaren to develop its all-new 570S GT4 car exclusively in British GT this season.’

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