McLaren Automotive and McLaren Special Operations (MSO) have announced plans to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the F1 GTR’s famous 24 Hours of Le Mans win next month with a special display at the Circuit de la Sarthe. The five examples of the F1 GTR that dominated the 1995 race, including the winning No. 59 car, will return for a parade lap at Le Mans prior to the lights going green for the 83rd running of the world’s greatest endurance event.

Leading the five Le Mans cars on the 8.5-mile victory lap will be the F1 GTR’s spiritual successor, the 986-horsepower P1 GTR. The hybrid supercar will thus make its global dynamic debut on the Circuit de la Sarthe, a privilege very few vehicles can brag about.

The track-exclusive P1 will be driven by former racer Yannick Dalmas, who was part of the winning team in the Ueno Clinic-sponsored car, together with J.J. Lehto and Masanori Sekiya. Lehto and Sekiya will also join the parade, along with owners of the limited-edition 650S Le Mans, which McLaren also launched to celebrate the F1 GTR’s famous win.

On June 18th, 20 years ago, the McLaren GTR won the 24 Hours of Le Mans on its maiden outing at the Circuit de la Sarthe. The No. 59 car took the checkered flag one lap ahead of a Porsche-powered Courage C34. The next three cars to cross the finish line were also F1 GTRs. A fifth GTR took 13th place overall to give McLaren its most convincing performance at Le Mans.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

Winning the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans on the first attempt isn’t for anyone, and the fact that McLaren dominated the event with a pack of race cars that still used most of the road car’s technology makes the GTR’s success that much more impressive. Celebrating this event 20 years later is mandatory, and the fact that McLaren managed to reunite all five F1 GTR’s that raced together in 1995 is a great achievement, not to mention a huge spectacle for the Le Mans crowd.

To this day, McLaren remains the only manufacturer to have claimed the Triple Crown of Motorsport – victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Monaco Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500, which only adds to McLaren’s one-lap party at Circuit de la Sarthe next month. Book your tickets folks, this year’s race will become hot before the lights go green!

McLaren F1 GTR

McLaren to Celebrate Le Mans Win with F1 GTR Parade at Circuit de la Sarthe High Resolution Exterior
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Find our more about the McLaren F1 GTR here.

Press Release

McLaren Automotive and McLaren Special Operations (MSO) will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans win next month with the ultimate display at the French circuit. The five examples of the McLaren F1 GTR that dominated the 1995 race, including the race-winning chassis #01R, will take to the track led by the latest McLaren model to wear the famous GTR badge as the McLaren P1™ GTR makes its global public dynamic debut. This will be the first time all five cars have been on track together since the chequered flag fell shortly after 16.00, 18 June 1995.

McLaren to Celebrate Le Mans Win with F1 GTR Parade at Circuit de la Sarthe High Resolution Exterior
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Twenty years on from the famous win, the five cars that finished – chassis #01R, #06R, #02R, #07R and #05R – will return for a parade lap of the legendary circuit prior to the lights going green for the 83rd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The McLaren P1™ GTR will lead the charge driven by French former racer Yannick Dalmas, who was part of the winning driver line-up in the number 59 McLaren F1 GTR. His teammates J.J. Lehto and Masanori Sekiya will also join the parade, along with owners of the limited edition 650S Le Mans.

Designed and developed by MSO, the McLaren P1™ GTR is a 1,000PS (986bhp) track-dedicated model which provides membership to the world’s most exclusive McLaren ownership programme. The McLaren P1™ GTR Driver Programme offers unique access to race winning knowledge and expertise within the McLaren Technology Centre, and a bespoke driver training programme designed to hone and optimise driving skills.

DEBUT VICTORY SECURES TRIPLE CROWN

McLaren to Celebrate Le Mans Win with F1 GTR Parade at Circuit de la Sarthe High Resolution Exterior
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The McLaren F1 secured its place in motorsport history 20 years ago when five lightly race modified examples crossed the finish line of the world’s most famous endurance race in France to complete one of the most dominant results the event had ever seen. The McLaren F1 GTR, in its debut outing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, claimed outright victory, and also finished third, fourth, fifth and 13th against a field of purpose-built prototypes and more established manufacturers. This result meant that McLaren was, and still is, the only manufacturer to have claimed the Triple Crown of Motorsport – victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Monaco Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500.

THE FAMOUS FIVE FINISHERS

Team: Kokusai Aihatsu Racing (GB) – chassis #01R
Car number: 59
Drivers: Yannick Dalmas (F), J.J. Lehto (SF), Masanori Sekiya (J)
Qualified: P9 / Finished: P1

Team: Mach One Racing (GB) – chassis #06R
Car number: 51
Drivers: Derek Bell (GB), Justin Bell (GB), Andy Wallace (GB)
Qualified: P13/ Finished: P3

Team: Gulf Racing (GB) – chassis #02R
Car number: 24
Drivers: Ray Bellm (GB), Mark Blundell (GB), Maurizio Sandro Sala (BR)
Qualified: P11 / Finished: P4

McLaren to Celebrate Le Mans Win with F1 GTR Parade at Circuit de la Sarthe High Resolution Exterior
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Team: Giroix Racing Team (F) – chassis #07R
Car number: 50
Drivers: Jean-Denis Delétraz (CH), Fabien Giroix (F), Olivier Grouillard (F)
Qualified: P15 / Finished: P5

Team: Société BBA Compétition (F) – chassis #05R
Car number: 42
Drivers: Jean-Luc Maury-Laribiére (F), Hervé Poulain (F), Marc Sourd (F)
Qualified: P20 / Finished: P13

MSO HERITAGE GETS THE McLAREN F1 GTR BACK ON TRACK

McLaren Special Operations, as it is known today, was launched at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2011. However, a division was first set up as the McLaren Customer Care Programme in the 1990s to service, maintain and personalise the McLaren F1 for owners. This service continues at McLaren, and is now managed by the MSO Heritage team, offering an unrivalled level of knowledge and expertise on the McLaren F1. Following its last public outing at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2013 to honour 50 years of McLaren, the MSO Heritage team has been responsible for returning the race-winning #01R to the track.

McLaren to Celebrate Le Mans Win with F1 GTR Parade at Circuit de la Sarthe High Resolution Exterior
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Ahead of the 20th anniversary, a number of key figures involved with the original McLaren F1 GTR project have looked back at preparations for the race weekend, and the event itself. Visit cars.mclaren.com/le-mans-memories to hear these unique insights into one of the true milestones in the history of the McLaren brand.

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