Formula One

Brown wants McLaren to enter top level sportscar racing

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McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown says the Woking-based outfit’s entry into top level sportscar racing is now a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’.

Under Brown’s guidance in the past several years, McLaren has branched out into other categories of racing.

While Formula 1 remains team papaya’s main field of expertise and priority, McLaren also enjoys fields a works outfit in the NTT IndyCar Series, in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship and in the off-road all-electric Extreme E series.

Top level sportscar racing isn’t an area typically associated with McLaren and yet its outstanding sporting legacy includes a win at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1995 with its iconic McLaren F1 GTR.

Brown wants McLaren to enter top level sportscar racing

©McLaren

Brown has been attentive to the success garnered by the WEC and IMSA which have attracted a plethora of manufacturers – including Porsche, Ferrari, Peugeot, BMW and Lamborghini – thanks to a combination of low costs and a harmonization of the regulations on both sides of the Atlantic with the advent of the LMH and LMDh classes.

The McLaren boss is therefore determined to put a McLaren sportscar programme on its rails at some point in the future.

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“I really would like to get McLaren into top level sportscar racing,” Brown told RACER’s Marshall Pruett on the latter’s podcast. “I think we need to be there. I think it fits with our brand.

“I need to make sure that when – which is what I like to say versus ‘if’ we get involved – we need to be able to do it right and have everything else that we’re doing in a really good spot.”

A McLaren Hypercar or LMDh contender is unlikely to grace the grid at Le Mans in the near term. But the time to decide the activation of a sportscar programme is fast approaching.

“I think it’s a few years away,” Brown added. “We need to make a decision soon because we now know what we need to know in order to make a decision.

“It’s really dependent upon what else is going on in McLaren’s world as to the best time to enter.”

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