McLaren 650S GT3 Ditches the Track to Showcase Hillclimbing Skills

McLaren 650S GT3 hillclimb racing 6 photos
Photo: 19Bozzy92/YouTube
McLaren 650S GT3 hillclimb racingMcLaren 650S GT3 hillclimb racingMcLaren 650S GT3 hillclimb racingMcLaren 650S GT3 hillclimb racingMcLaren 650S GT3 hillclimb racing
The McLaren 650S has been discontinued for four years as of 2021, but it remains a relevant sports car. Especially its race-spec GT3 cousin, which continued to tackle race tracks around the world until 2019. And as this video shows, the 650S GT3 is more than just a track machine. It also has what it takes to dominate hillclimbing events.
While not as demanding as endurance racing when it comes to reliability, hillclimbing is just as fast and exciting. And mountain courses are often more difficult and dangerous to complete since everything takes place on public roads that are narrower than closed circuits. This video is proof that the 650S GT3 is a multi-purpose machine in the right hands.

Introduced in 2014 as a race-spec version of the 650S, the 650S GT3 replaced McLaren's successful 12C GT3. Offered as a new car or as an upgrade to the existing 12C, the 650S GT3 featured the same twin-turbo, 3.8-liter V8 as the road car. However, the mill was detuned to 493 horsepower to meet GT3-class regulations.

Throughout its five-year-long career, the 650S GT3 won 16 races outright and scored an additional nine class wins. McLaren 650S drivers took the podium on 41 occasions.

The 650S achieved its most important success when it won the 2016 Bathurst 12-Hour race in Australia, while also setting a lap record in the process. But the British race car also won events at Silverstone, Nurburgring, Spa Francorchamps, Monza, Estoril, and Paul Ricard, all major circuits in the racing scene.

The 650S GT3 was replaced by the 720S GT3 for the 2019 racing season. Although not as successful, the 720S GT3, powered by the slightly bigger 4.0-liter V8 engine, won a few important events through 2020. But that's enough motorsport history for today, hit the play button below to see the 650S GT3 climb a mountain course in anger.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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