McLaren confirms Le Mans return for 2024
McLaren Automotive has confirmed it will compete in the World Endurance Championship and Le Mans in 2024 with the 720S GT3
McLaren will return to the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2024, with two 720S GT3 racers run by United Autosports, McLaren’s F1 boss Zak Brown’s other race team. Now officially confirmed as a manufacturer set to be represented in the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship, the move marks 29 years since the iconic F1 GTR made its Le Mans debut victory.
Competing in the new LMGT3 class that replaces the GTE category, McLaren and United Autosports will contest each round of the 2024 WEC, which will see it go head-to-head with Porsche, Ferrari and Aston Martin when the season commences in Qatar on March 2.
The 720S GT3 is already a successful racer, competing with customer teams around the world in numerous GT series from the British GT Championship, the VLN series in Germany and at Australia’s legendary Bathurst endurance race to name but a few. This, however, will be the first time a McLaren works team will compete at the highest level of endurance racing. United Autosports, however, are no strangers to endurance racing success, having been one of the first to compete with the original McLaren 12C GT3 car and going on to win in the WEC and at Le Mans with its LMP racers.
McLaren’s return to Le Mans will be almost three decades after the F1 made its debut at the French classic and won, leading to a more concentrated race car development programme that was never intended for Gordan Murray’s road car. The culmination of that process was the F1 GTR Long Tail, which competed in GT1 sports car racing – winning its class at Le Mans in 1997 by 29 laps – until the category's demise in 1998.
Michael Leiters, CEO of McLaren Automotive said: 'We are delighted to have been confirmed for the 2024 WEC season and I would like to thank the Automobile Club de l’Ouest for our inclusion within a hugely competitive LMGT3 class. Motorsport is fundamental to our brand and we build our cars using technology from the race track to give them the supreme performance that our customers expect from a McLaren.'