In 1994, McLaren produced the F1 road car, but with slow sales, the company set about creating a racing car based on the F1 – the F1 GTR. A powerhouse of a racing car, with a 6.1 litre V12 BMW engine, 620 brake horsepower, light, precision steering and super-short gearing, the F1 GTR is the kind of car dreams are made of.
The GTR won on its debut at Le Mans 24 Hours in 1995, against faster purpose-built cars. Rules at the time meant the engine was required to have an air restrictor, limiting it to 600hp, actually making the F1 GTR less powerful than the F1 road car, but a lower weight allowed it to speed through to the finish line.
Fast forward a few years and a very small number of F1 GTRs were made road-legal. In order to meet regulations, the cars had their ride heights increased, their racing fuel tanks replaced by a traditional tank and fuel cap and the air restrictor was removed, allowing the engine to produce its full potential power.
The first and most famous of the cars to be converted to a road car, chassis number 10, owned by Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, will be on display at this year’s Footman James Concours d’Elegance.
The acceleration on this race car turned road car is like nothing else on the road. The F1 GTR will continue to rocket forward even at 120mph! Number 10 was built in 1995 as a test and development car and was the first to be built to the 1996 specification. The 1996 design was to keep the car competitive against newer sports cars, such as the Ferrari F50 GT and Porsche 911 GT1, and although chassis number 10 was used in pre-qualifying at Le Mans in 1996, it did not race.
Nick Mason is not only well known as the only constant member of Pink Floyd since the band was formed in 1965, but has become a popular figure in the motorsport world. He owns and races several classic cars and has competed at Le Mans 24 Hours.
This rare road car is a welcome modern addition to the Footman James Concours d’Elegance and we expect it to be very popular with visitors. Don’t forget, you’ll be able to vote for your favourite car at the event – keep following the Hill Climb blog to find out more.