Video: McLaren GTR vs Group C & CanAm
Back in the day McLaren were responsible for some of the best CanAm cars around. Machines like the 8.8L M8F and the like were rocketships of the 1970s, sporting massive displacement and huge HP for a wild ride that only the bravest of drivers would dare. 20 years later in the mid 1990s, and McLaren were campaigning what would become their most iconic Sportscar, the F1 GTR. Each were incredible pieces of engineering in their own right, but what would happen if were each were to be on-track at the same time? Shot at Spa, that’s exactly what this video shows.
The F1 GTR featured in this clip is a later shape, “long tail” chassis built in 1997. It was driven by J Lehto and Soper as part of the factory BMW Motorsport Team, and in that year actually won at Spa whilst racing in the FIA GT Championship, as well as winning three other rounds to place 2nd overall in the season.
Fast forward a little over 15 years and this clip again sees the F1 GTR return to Spa, racing in the 6 hour Trans-Atlantic Prototype Challenge. Behind the wheel this time is Ralf Kelleners, an experienced driver who took out the GT2 class at the 24 Hour of Le Mans in 1996. Kelleners has also raced at Le Mans in the GT1 class, LMGTP, LMP675 and LMP900, however never in the McLaren F1 GTR.
Enjoy this fantastic clip, (Spoiler alert) our favorite part is that the aforementioned M8F CanAm (driven by Peter Hoffmann) ran a fastest lap only 1.3 seconds slower than the F1 GTR!