Built at the request of race teams, such as those owned by Ray Bellm and Thomas Bscher, in order to compete in the BPR Global GT Series, the McLaren F1 GTR was a custom built race car which introduced a modified engine management system that increased power output â€” however, air-restrictors mandated by racing regulations reduced the power back to 600 hp (447 kW) at 7500 RPM. The cars extensive modifications included changes to body panels, suspension, aerodynamics and the interior. The McLaren F1 GTR would go on to take its greatest achievement with 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 13th places in the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans, beating out custom built prototype sports cars.
In total, nine McLaren F1 GTRs would be built for 1995.
McLaren F1 GTR '96
To follow up on the success of the McLaren F1 GTR into 1996, McLaren further developed the '95 model, leading to a size increase but weight decrease. Nine more F1 GTRs were built to 1996 spec, while some 1995 cars were still campaigned by privateers. McLaren F1 GTR '96 chassis #14R is notable as being the first non-Japanese car to win a race in the All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship (JGTC). The car was driven by David Brabham and John Nielsen. The weight was reduced with around 100 kg from the 1995 GTR edition and the engine was kept detuned at 600 HP to comply with racing regulations.
McLaren F1 GTR '97
With the F1 GT homologated, McLaren could now develop the McLaren F1 GTR for the 1997 season. Weight was further reduced and a sequential transaxle was added. The engine was slightly destroked to 6.0L instead of the previous 6.1L. Due to the heavily modified bodywork, the McLaren F1 GTR '97 is often referred to as the "Longtail" thanks to the rear bodywork being extended to increase rear downforce. A total of ten McLaren F1 GTR '97s were built. The weight was reduced to a total of 910 kg.