Sebastien Loeb at 2013 FIA GT series opener at Nogaro

McLAREN 12C GT3 (5)Sebastien Loeb partnered with McLaren Factor driver Alvara Parente did extremely well to claim victory in the qualifying race of the FIA GT series in Nogaro. Sebastian Loeb is a nine time world rally championship winner and was behind the controls of the 12C GT3 for the qualification race. For the Superpole, he lined up 2nd on grid.

The weekend boded well for McLaren as they qualified in good time to take over positions in first and second rows. This was the first win not only for Sebastien Loeb in sport cars, but also the first for his Sebastien Loeb racing team in the newest edition of the FIA GT series. The second race however, wasn’t as lucky for McLaren as Loeb after starting up front, and keeping up the lead till the mandatory pit stop was fraught with driver issues.

The other 12C GT3 was driven by Mike Parisy and Andreas Zuber and though it moved with a purpose overcoming wet conditions it was a target for driver penalties which caused both McLaren 12C GT3’s to be relegated to 11th and 12th place respectively.

Commenting on the weekend, and the team’s victory, Sébastien Loeb said, “This was a really good event for us, and I am really pleased that we came away with the win on Saturday. We made a few small mistakes over the weekend, which affected the final result in the second race but, overall, I am happy with the performance of the team, and with how I drove. Over the course of the weekend the 12C GT3 felt great, especially in the dry conditions. There are some areas of set up where I feel we can find some more pace, and we need to work on optimising the balance in the wet, but I really enjoyed the event, and we showed good pace.”

The 2012 GT season witnessed 38 podium finishes for McLaren GT teams. This winning spate is expected to continue with the 2013 spec 12C GT3. The 2013 season commenced this past weekend with Malaysian Super Series. Here the enhanced 2013 12C GT3 has claimed a host of victories with Clearwater Racing and are the first victories for McLaren GT and 12C GT3 outside Europe.
Clearwater Racing is one of the new teams who have joined the McLaren GT customer program for the current season and will be following the team through Europe while they have also been confirmed to compete in championships across Asia and Australia. Cars Tokai Dream 28 will participate in Japan Super GT Series while AAI will be competing with Taiwan Super Taikyu and GT Asia Series. 12 C GT3 will debut at Australia along with VIP Petfoods Racing.
As seen in 2012 McLaren will also be participating in Blancpain Endurance Series. Here there will be a total of 60 cars on the grid while the Total 24 Hours of Spa will have 10 12C GT3 cars from ART GP, Boutsen-Ginion Racing, Gulf Racing UK, Molitor Racing Systems, Von Ryan Racing besides 2012 FIA GT1 World runners-up Hexis Racing.