In a thrilling development for motorsport enthusiasts, McLaren Automotive is set to make a spectacular return to the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). After a long hiatus, this marks an exciting revival of McLaren's presence in the prestigious championship, partnering with United Autosports to compete in the LMGT3 class with two 720S GT3 EVO cars.
The 2024 WEC season promises to be a riveting spectacle, starting on March 2 in Qatar and culminating in Bahrain on November 2. A highlight of this championship will be the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans, slated for June 15-16, where McLaren's participation is particularly noteworthy. This will be the first time McLaren cars will take to the Le Mans track since 1998.
McLaren's history with Le Mans is storied and significant. The team's return to the race comes 29 years after its historic debut victory, a win that helped McLaren complete the 'Triple Crown' of motorsport - victories at Le Mans, the Indianapolis 500, and the Monaco Grand Prix. The cars entered in the 2024 race will pay homage to this glorious past, bearing race numbers #59 and #95, reminiscent of the winning F1 GTR and the year of that memorable victory.
Michael Leiters, CEO of McLaren Automotive, expressed excitement and gratitude for the team's inclusion in the LMGT3 class, emphasizing the brand's deep-rooted connection to motorsport and its commitment to leveraging racing technology in its consumer cars. He anticipates a fiercely competitive season and has full confidence in United Autosports, renowned for their endurance racing prowess.
Besides the two entries from United Autosports, McLaren will also be represented by the customer racing team Inception Racing, expected to field an additional 720S GT3 EVO. This follows Brendan Iribe's success in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, where he clinched an automatic Le Mans entry by winning the Bob Akin Award.
United Autosports, a team with its own Le Mans victory in the LMP2 class in 2020, is equally enthusiastic about this partnership and the upcoming season. Richard Dean, CEO of United Autosports, acknowledges the increased demand for WEC entries and is thankful for the confidence shown by both McLaren and the WEC organizers. With the 720S GT3 EVO test program already in motion, the team is gearing up for a competitive and successful campaign.
McLaren's re-entry into the Le Mans race is not just a return to a prestigious event; it's a resurgence of a legacy, a blend of past glory with future ambition. As the teams prepare for the challenging season ahead, all eyes will be on McLaren, anticipating how this storied brand will fare in its much-awaited comeback to one of the most celebrated races in the world of motorsport.