Rob Bell, Alexander Sims and Alvaro Parente are Racing for McLaren GT Customer Teams in 2012

McLaren GT is building on its successful 2011 development programme for the new MP4-12C GT3 by adding Britons Rob Bell and Alexander Sims to its driver line-up for 2012.

McLaren GT is building on its successful 2011 development programme for the new MP4-12C GT3 by adding Britons Rob Bell and Alexander Sims to its driver line-up for 2012.  Bell and Sims will join Portuguese racing driver Alvaro Parente at McLaren GT, with each driver available to teams racing the stunning new MP4-12C GT3 in 2012.

Rob Bell said: “I’m very excited to be joining McLaren GT and the opportunity to drive the new 12C GT3 in its first full season of racing.  When I was invited to drive the car last year at Spa, I welcomed the chance to sample this new British racer.  As I anticipated from a company which is synonymous with cutting edge technology and a dedication to success, the car lived up to its expectations.  It delivered the speed and showed the performance potential necessary to win in the highly competitive environment of sportscar racing. I’m looking forward to contributing to further development of the car with a customer team when we take to the track at the start of this season.”

Alexander Sims won the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award in 2008, and joins McLaren GT following a successful period in his career racing single seaters. Sims said: “I’m really looking forward to the forthcoming season with McLaren GT and the opportunity to race the MP4-12C GT3 I am delighted McLaren continue to support young drivers in their careers and I’m proud to join the likes of Rob and Alvaro on the driver programme for 2012.”

The 12C GT3 is a unique technical concept in sportscar racing. It features McLaren’s one-piece moulded carbon MonoCell chassis and technology normally reserved for Formula 1 race cars. The 12C GT3 has been specified and developed by a team comprising senior personnel from McLaren Racing, McLaren Automotive and successful GT car race team CRS Racing.

McLaren Racing Chief Vehicle Engineer Mark Williams has been at the forefront of technical development of the 12C GT3.  Williams said: “Since the 12C GT3 development programme began in March, we have entered endurance races all over Europe and more recently in Macau.  We have undertaken independent 24 hour tests at some of Europe’s most challenging circuits, and experienced some real highs and of course, had to deal with a number of challenges.

“The 12C GT3 qualified in pole position in the British GT Championship race in Spa in July. We returned to Spa for this season’s 24 hour event and had a car complete the race at its first attempt. That is remarkable and was a good indication that core technologies were proving efficient and reliable in racing. More recently, Danny Watts secured third place in the Macau GT Cup. We’re really proud of these achievements.

“In the last month the McLaren GT team of engineers,technicians and test drivers have been concentrating on refining the calibration of vehicle electronics during tests in Portugal, Spain and Germany. We are very close to the finished article now and I am looking forward to seeing our race cars at the front of the grid in 2012.”




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