Why McLaren P1 GTR Customer Racing Program Is a Bit like Space Flight Training

You know a supercar maker that re-entered the market relatively recently has reached its maturity when the company can sustain a customer racing program. McLaren has now achieved this status, with its P1 GTR Driver Program having recently kicked off in Spain.
McLaren P1 GTR Customer Racing Program Kicks Off 3 photos
Photo: McLaren
McLaren P1 GTR customer racing - helmetMcLaren P1 GTR customer racing
McLaren has had a full throttle ascension since its return to the road car stage back in 2010 and now the company has reached that point where it can turn its customers into gentleman racers.

McLaren's customer racing scheme debuted earlier this week at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain, with multiple customers mahandling their P1 GTR racecars on the country's F1 track.

If we are to follow McLaren's description, the program sounds a bit like space flight training - "The McLaren P1 GTR Driver Programme is the ultra-exclusive ownership programme, offering specialist driver training, human performance and access to the McLaren racing simulator ahead of on track activity. This programme has been designed to prepare each driver mentally and physically to allow them to fully exploit the abilities of the McLaren P1 GTR."

We'll remind you the track-confined incarnation of the P1 packs no less than 1,000 PS (986 hp), with the hybrid hypercar riding on Pirelli slicks.

The team of driver coaches that takes care of the customers is led by McLaren's Chief Test Driver, Chris Goodwin.

"The performance of each driver, and the improvements made over the course of the three days on track showed how effective the driver training programme in the build up to the event has been, and it proved to be a lot of fun! Every driver was close to the performance they showed on the simulator straight away, highlighting just how realistic the system is, and the bespoke nature of the programme, ensured each driver was engaged with the training at their individual levels," Goodwin said.

Bruno Senna, the nephew of the late Ayrton Senna, is the Driver Mentor for the program. The professional driver recently set a benchmark time, with two of the customer involved "proving competitive" in the attempt to get close to that target.

Now that Mclaren's scheme rivals Ferrari's Corse Clienti program, the British carmaker has announced the locations that follow, with these including Sepang International Circuit (Malaysia), Circuit of the Americas (North America), Silverstone (UK), Autodromo Nazionale Monza (Italy), Red Bull Ring (Austria), Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), Bahrain International Circuit (Bahrain), and Yas Marina (Abu Dhabi).
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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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