McLaren F1 GTR - 1995

Cette collection est une adaptation de 24H Le Mans ® Le auto delle corsa più leggendaria al mondo Éditeur : Centauria Editore s.r.l. 

McLAREN F1 GTR THE LEGEND OF LE MANS

To win right from the start is not exceptional, but to win the world's most gruelling endurance race for the first time by placing four cars in the top five is a milestone in the history of motorsport. Especially when you consider that the McLaren F1 GTR, unlike other Le Mans winners, is based on a model not designed for the racetrack.

McLaren participated for the first time in an endurance race of more than 4 hours in 1995, destroying all opposition with the F1 GTR, the ultimate evolution of a timeless hypercar. © IXO Collections SAS - Tous droits réservés. 

Gordon Murray, creator of numerous Brabham and McLaren Formula 1 cars. This phrase is perhaps enough to describe the McLaren F1 GTR that dominated the 1995 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a race drenched in rain and eventually won by the team of J.J. Lehto, Masanori Sekiya and Yannick Dalmas, with three more cars finishing in the top five. This triumph shattered the confidence of the rival teams, accustomed of having to work for months, even years, on the development (thanks to significant investment) of prototypes designed for this race. 

1.  A large fixed spoiler optimises the rear aerodynamics of the amazing McLaren F1 transformed into the GTR.

2. The F1 GTR's carbon bodywork features a number of cooling ducts for the mechanical components, including the powerful V12 engine and the large carbon ceramic brake discs.

3. The carbon monocoque required effective thermal insulation from heat sources, which is why Murray insulated the engine compartment with a thin sheet of heat-reflecting gold foil, a protection weighing no more than 16 grams.

© IXO Collections SAS - Tous droits réservés. 

The story of the McLaren F1 GTR is quite different: originally a road car, but with very high performance, it became the GTR as a result of requests from a number of sports teams having to overcome the reluctance and doubts of the car's creator himself, Gordon Murray.

Today, the F1 road car is still considered a cutting-edge hypercar, but the South African engineer simply hadn't designed it for racing. Geniuses can change their minds, and Murray did just that. After his initial confusion over the project, he managed in just a few months to create a F1 racing version, which was so powerful that it enabled Lehto, Sekiya and Dalmas to win at Le Mans. This victory was the result of a combination of visionary design and an extraordinary engine, BMW's 6.1-litre V12, with groundbreaking technologies, many of which had been incorporated into the F1 road car. This McLaren with its rear mid-engine is one of the world's most sophisticated road cars, with a carbon fibre monocoque.

The F1 anticipated the development of the use of ultralight materials such as kevlar, titanium, magnesium and gold, and it stunned the world with its three-seater interior, with the driver in the centre and positioned further forward than its passengers. 

1.  Gordon Murray applied all his aerodynamic knowledge to the GTR, modifying the F1's ventilation system to control airflow resistance below the car. 

2. The F1 GTR, like any other car competing in endurance races, features powerful additional lighting at the front to maintain high speeds at night.

3. To comply with the 600 bhp limit imposed by the regulations at the time, the original BMW engine was forced to reduce its power by 27 bhp by limiting the air intake. The transmission featured a 6-speed dog clutch gearbox

© IXO Collections SAS - Tous droits réservés. 

The transformation from F1 to GTR is fairly straightforward: Murray worked on the aerodynamics by removing superfluous elements, chose carbon ceramic brakes and determined the appropriate trim. As for the engine, the 627 bhp BMW V12 with variable valve timing from Vanos, deflated to comply with the 600 bhp limit required by the Le Mans regulations and connected to a transaxle equipped with dog clutches designed to reduce the top speed from 387 to 330 kph. The result was the F1 GTR, a car capable of beating an army of Porsche prototypes and other supercars in the LM classes, such as the Ferrari F40, Nissan GT R, Honda NSX, Jaguar XJ220 and, of course, the always dreaded Porsche 911 and 935.

A.The GTR continues to use the F1 road car's advanced central driving position, designed to optimise the balance of the car's masses around the centre of gravity. © IXO Collections SAS - Tous droits réservés. 

B. Heat-reflective gold leaf enveloped the F1 GTR's V12, produced by BMW according to precise specifications regarding its power and weight limit of 250 kg.  © IXO Collections SAS - Tous droits réservés. 

C. The F1 GTR also benefits from Italian technology, such as the OZ wheels and the Brembo braking system with carbon discs. © IXO Collections SAS - Tous droits réservés. 

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