McLaren P1 GTR Driver Programme Commences

BY Azfar Hashim

McLaren's bespoke race programme gives the lucky few a fully-tailored experience

The most exclusive McLaren owner experience has taken to the track for the first time at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain - seven examples of the track-only model were let loose. Each owner got behind the wheel of the most powerful model ever produced by McLaren, supported by a dedicated pit crew, around the home of Formula 1 in Spain.

The McLaren P1 GTR Driver Programme is the ultra-exclusive ownership programme, offering specialist driver training, human performance and access to the McLaren racing simulator ahead of on track activity. This programme has been designed to prepare each driver mentally and physically, to allow them to fully exploit the abilities of the McLaren P1 GTR, which produces 986 bhp and runs on race-proven Pirelli slick tyres. The programme is completely bespoke, with each individual having a fully-tailored experience, working closely with a support team from McLaren Special Operations (MSO) comprising authentic professionals that have operated within the rarefied world of professional motor sport.

A dedicated team of driver coaches supported the activities on track, led by McLaren Automotive Chief Test Driver, Chris Goodwin. The highly experienced team, each boasting a strong racing career, worked closely with each driver to achieve the best results. Goodwin explained, "The performance of each driver, and the improvements made over the course of the three days on track showed how effective the driver training programme in the build up to the event has been, and it proved to be a lot of fun! Every driver was close to the performance they showed on the simulator straight away, highlighting just how realistic the system is, and the bespoke nature of the programme, ensured each driver was engaged with the training at their individual levels."

The effectiveness of the coaching and team support for the drivers was highlighted with two owners proving extremely competitive after Driver Mentor, Bruno Senna, set a benchmark lap time to work towards. "This first event gave the drivers the first taste of what the McLaren P1 GTR can really do, and it has got each and every one of them hooked for the rest of the calendar. From here, we will visit some of the most exciting and challenging circuits around the world," Goodwin added.

Other locations on the debut McLaren P1 GTR Driver Programme calendar include Sepang International Circuit (Malaysia), Circuit of the Americas (North America), Silverstone (UK), Autodromo Nazionale Monza (Italy), Red Bull Ring (Austria), Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), Bahrain International Circuit (Bahrain) and Yas Marina (Abu Dhabi).