#mclarenmonday McLaren F1 GTR Longtail
Since its debut season in 1995, the McLaren F1 GTR had been scoring pole positions and race wins – including the famous victory at Le Mans. But in 1996, rivals began stretching the GT rules to the limit (some would say beyond) by creating purpose-built racing cars. In order to keep its F1 GTR competitive, McLaren had to make drastic changes for 1997. The result was a high-downforce version of the GTR, dubbed internally as ‘F1 GT’, although it became better known as the ‘Longtail’.
Late in 1996, work began on this faster, lighter F1. Gordon Murray recalls the immense amount of work that was required to finalise the design for the start of the 1997 season. ‘We had to embark on a major crash-testing programme to develop not only a new racing car, but first a new road-car model to legalise it!’ Murray and the rest of the team tasked with creating the ‘Longtail’ wanted the car to represent the ultimate expression of what the F1 was capable of, retaining the underpinnings of the road car. ‘We were determined to do it all precisely to the letter of the regulations, in the spirit that their original authors had plainly intended’. #mclarenmonday #mclarenf1gtr #f1gtrlongtail