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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

McLaren to return to Le Mans with confirmation of 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship entry

UK
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Automobile Magazine
Editor | News | United Kingdom

McLaren Automotive has been confirmed as a manufacturer represented in the 2024 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) with nominated racing partner United Autosports contesting the championship in the LMGT3 class with two 720S GT3 EVO cars.

The 2024 WEC commences on March 2 in Qatar, the first round of eight in a championship that ends in Bahrain on November 2. The championship includes the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 15-16, in which McLaren cars will compete for the first time since 1998.

The McLaren name will return to Le Mans 29 years after winning the race on its debut appearance, completing the ‘Triple Crown’ of victories at Le Mans, the Indianapolis 500 and Monaco Grand Prix. To celebrate McLaren’s return to endurance racing, the entries will pay tribute to the famous debut with race numbers #59 – the race number of the winning F1 GTR – and #95, the year of the landmark win.

“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.

“It will be a very exciting season and extremely close between the teams, which is why we have nominated United Autosports as our racing partner. This team has an excellent reputation in the endurance racing arena, and I look forward to our return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in which we will see 720S GT3 EVO cars in action.”
Michael Leiters, CEO, McLaren Automotive

McLaren’s return to Le Mans will be marked by at least three entries for the 720S GT3 EVO, with customer racing team Inception Racing expected to appear on the grid alongside the two United Autosport cars. This follows success for Brendan Iribe in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, where he gained an automatic entry into the Le Mans race by winning the Bob Akin Award for the highest-placed Bronze-rated driver in the GTD class.

Like McLaren, United Autosports has also tasted victory at Le Mans, having won the LMP2 class in 2020. The team has already commenced preparations for the 2024 campaign, with the 720S GT3 EVO test programme now underway.

“We are very proud and grateful to see the confirmation of the two WEC entries for United Autosports and McLaren; proud to be representing McLaren in a World championship and of course for their return to the Le Mans 24 Hours, and grateful because we know the success of the WEC has increased demand for places on the grid. This is a show of faith from both the WEC and McLaren in our project and we are determined to repay that faith with results on track.”
Richard Dean, CEO, United Autosports

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