McLaren 650S Sprint to Make Race Debut at Donington Park UK

The McLaren 650S Sprint is set to make its racing debut this weekend at the GT Cup race at Donington Park in the U.K. So far, the new British racer has been granted permission to race in the NARRA US GT series, the SCCA GT Championship and the UAE GT series.

Beneath the body, the McLaren 650S Sprint features the same 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine as the road car. However, the Sprint features optimised air intakes to inevitably provide a boost in power. However, McLaren hasn’t released outputs for the engine just yet. Nevertheless, the transmission mated to it has been recalibrated for better on-track driveability and engagement.

Aerodynamically speaking, the McLaren 650S Sprint delivers more downforce than the road car thanks to a more prominent front splitter as well as a large fixed carbon fibre spoiler (which are both optional) and a smooth rear diffuser. It also sits lower thanks to new suspension complete with revised spring rates while rolling on 19-inch centre-locking racing wheels complete with Pirelli slick or wet tyres.

Further enhancements to the 650S Sprint include an onboard air jacking system for quick tyre changes while braking power has been enhanced to enable harder and latter braking lap after lap on the track. The upgraded brakes are joined with the Brake Steer system of the road car with active aerodynamics also helping to slow the car down.

Inside, the McLaren 650S Sprint is completely track-focused and has consequently been stripped of any non-essentialists. An FIA-approved rollcage has also been installed alongside a carbon fibre HANS-approved racing seat with a full six-point harness. Additionally, a fire extinguisher comes standard.

Discussing the car and its racing debut, McLaren GT managing director Andrew Kirkadly said, “The 650S Sprint is an evolution of the successful 12C GT Sprint, and moves the game on as the 650S road car has done. The 650S Sprint is an easier car to fully exploit and enjoy for a driver, and the levels of engagement and refinement have been optimised. The development programme for the car has been extensive so far, with many thousands of kilometres completed on various tracks, but this will be the ultimate test – a real race situation with a highly competitive grid.”

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