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McLaren tempted by new prototype regs

14 May 2018

McLaren’s executive director, Zak Brown, has said that the new set of prototype regulations proposed by the FIA and the ACO is “compelling” as the team weighs a possible return to Le Mans.

McLaren has been part of the group of manufacturers involved in the process of shaping the regulations that are set to replace the current LMP1 regulations in the 2020 – 2021 World Endurance Championship season. A draft of the upcoming ruleset is due to be released next month.

Speaking at the Spanish GP over the weekend, Brown said that the new so-called GTP regulations, which look to enable entrants in the WEC to style their prototype cars around their road going sports cars, were “compelling”.

“We would consider running the new whatever they’re going to call it – GTP, Silhouette, LMP1 – I’ve heard various phrases. But I think what’s exciting is trying to go to Le Mans to win outright. That’s the highest value for a racing team,” he said.

Brown also added that diversifying into different series was something that McLaren’s shareholders were supportive of, provided that financially it all adds up. He explained that “as we look at the budget cap and how do you manage that, looking at additional forms of racing is something that we’re considering.”

“The Indianapolis 500 project last year, when I brought that forward and told them that I thought it was commercially viable and that we would be competitive, it didn’t take [the shareholders] very long to say ‘great idea, let’s go do it’.”

Brown added that should McLaren enter the WEC’s top flight in 2020 he was also open to having Fernando Alonso race for the team. “He’ll continue driving beyond his Formula 1 career and if we’re in other forms of motor racing then of course we’d love to have Fernando in our car,” he said.

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