MCLAREN SENNA GTR LM
In 1995, five McLaren F1 GTRs dominated the 24 Hours of Le Mans, finishing first, second, fourth, fifth and 13th. Twenty-five years later, McLaren Special Operations has been inspired by that performance, in what is considered the world’s toughest endurance race, to design five customer-commissioned McLaren Senna GTR LM models.
Remarkably, it was the first time McLaren had raced at Le Mans, and the motorsport achievement came only three years after its initial production road car – the McLaren F1 – had been introduced. The track-only McLaren Senna GTR was the fastest-lapping car McLaren has ever made outside Formula 1. The five new McLaren Senna GTR LMs each feature a bespoke, handpainted livery that either replicates or pays tribute to the designs of the 1995 cars, and which required more than 800 hours of painstaking craftsmanship.
Special permissions were granted by brand owners such as Gulf and Harrods, as well as by Le Mans organiser the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), to recreate logos and trademarks. The roof of each car features an authentically recreated scrutineering sticker, the only piece of vinyl in the livery.
According to McLaren, the relationship between the McLaren Senna GTR LM and its F1 GTR predecessor is further showcased by a dedication plaque on the inner surface of the carbon fibre tub denoting each car’s one-off status and its original F1 GTR chassis number identifier. The cars also wear etched dedications to their Le Mans “twin”, including the date of the race, the names of the three race drivers in the car and the position they finished.
Officially presenting the five exclusive models, McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt said, “The incredible cars of the McLaren Senna GTR LM collection are an exceptionally fitting way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our Le Mans victory in 1995. That achievement is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest endurance racing performances of all time, but for McLaren its importance was even greater because it demonstrated an immediate and undeniable connection between the racing DNA of our brand and the start of our road car journey.”
The visual power of the liveries and the meticulous detailing are complemented by other exclusive features and technical enhancements that “elevate it above the already exceptional track car on which it is based”. The McLaren Senna GTR was engineered to have the highest power-to-weight ratio of any McLaren at the time, and aerodynamically optimised to be able to generate more than 1,000 kilograms of downforce. Enhancements to the GTR’s twin-turbocharged, 4.0-litre M840TQ engine include valve spring retainers made from metal matrix composite (MMC) to deliver a 65 per cent weight reduction, higher grade steel for the valve springs, and hand-polished, CNC-ported cylinder heads. Recalibration of the powertrain electronics releases power of 845PS – an increase of 20PS over the McLaren Senna GTR – and revised torque curve characteristics that deliver more torque at lower revs and enable a rev limit set closer to 9,000rpm than the “soft limit” of 8,250rpm. The GTR’s Inconel exhaust system has been further enhanced by the addition of specially designed LM twin-exit pipes; and OZ Racing, which supplied the wheels for the McLaren F1 GTR, created a bespoke, five-spoke GTR LM wheel design. As for the interiors, exclusive features include a racing steering wheel with anodised gold gear shift paddles and control buttons; titanium nitride pedals with LM logos; leather door-pull straps and lightweight carbon fibre racing seats complemented by bespoke headrest embroidery; and an MSO six-point racing harness coloured black with body-colour pads.
“We wanted to make a major statement with this collection,’” said McLaren Special Operations managing director Ansar Ali. “In creating these incredible cars to the requirements of some of our most discerning customers, we are showcasing the astonishing array of talent we have within MSO – a team that can visualise, design, produce and deliver products that really do take your breath away. The McLaren Senna GTR LM project has been a labour of love for nearly two years; we have gone to great lengths not only to perfect the engineering aspects of the cars, but also to gain cooperation from brand holders and partners to maximise authenticity.”