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McLaren F1 LeMans at Auction

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Anyone bidding on this:

Series N°: 005
Engine: 60° BMW V-12 cylinder, aluminium alloy block & head, central rear position (type BMW Motorsport S 70/3 GTR)
Capacity: 6064cc
Maximum power: 640hp at 6750rpm
Chassis: carbon monocoque with power-unit 15mm lower than for road car
Bodywork: composite carbon fibre with tubular steel protective cage
Performance: top speed of approx. 360km/h (225mph)

In 1992 the inventive, charismatic Stéphane Ratel appeared in the world of motor racing, convincing French makers Venturi to build a 400hp model for members of the international jet-set keen to take part in the Gentlemen Drivers Trophy. This Pro-Am concept, involving amateur/ professional teams, was so successful that, along with Jürgen Barth and Patrick Peter, Ratel launched the BPR Global GT Series (named after the initials of its founders' surnames) in 1995.

At the same time, McLaren Cars Ltd, created in 1989 to perpetuate the dreams of Bruce McLaren, began producing the road car of the future.

Gordon Murray (on temporary leave from Formula 1) and Peter Stevens designed an aesthetic masterpiece powered by a magnificent BMW engine - thanks to the good relations the engineer enjoyed with the Munich firm after collaborating in Nelson Piquet's Formula 1 championship victory.

The Supercar was unveiled to the public for the first time during the curtain-raiser to the 1992 Monaco Grand Prix. The original interior had a central steering-wheel with passenger seats set slightly back to either side.

Performances were so impressive - with a top speed of 225mph - that Ron Dennis and Gordon Murray welcomed the idea of targeting selected high-end clients: hence the construction of a GTR racing version, geared for the new BPR championship and ultimately the Le Mans 24 Hours.

A first series of seven cars (chassis numbers 1 to 7) were built for the 1995 season:

Chassis 1: prototype, owned by McLaren Cars, winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours in
March 1995 (driven by Dalmas/ Lehto/ Sekiya); now property of
McLaren Cars
Chassis 2: driven by Belm/ Sala for GTC Motorsport, sponsored by Gulf Oil
Chassis 3: sold to Thomas Bscher, driven by Bscher/ Nielsen for West Competition
(David Price Racing), sponsored by Cigarettes West
Chassis 4: sold to Lindsey Owen-Jones, driven by Owen-Jones/ Raphanel for GTC Motorsport, sponsored by Gulf Oil
Chassis 5: sold to industrialist Jean-Luc Maury-Laribière, entered by BBA Competition
(Team Noel Del Bello), sponsored by Tuiles TBF
Chassis 6: sold to the Al Fayed family, driven by Grouillard/ Wallace/ Bell for Rack One Racing (David Price Racing), sponsored by Harrods
Chassis 7: sold to Mr Picard, driven by Giroix/ Grouillard/ Deletraz for Jacadi Racing, sponsored by Elf 2 Jacadi

Chassis number 5 was acquired by Jean-Luc Maury-Laribière - an industrialist from south-west France, defending the colours of his tile-making company TBF - who had taken part in the Venturi Trophy in 1992, 1993 and 1994, and in the 1994 Le Mans 24 Hours, behind the wheel of a Venturi 500 LM.

Irrespective of its history and track record, this McLaren is of especial note as a member of the ArtCar Pantheon: it was decorated for the 1995 Le Mans 24 Hours by one of the most famous members of the Pop Art movement - the sculptor César.

- Hervé Poulain (1995)

McLAREN F1 GTR Chassis n°5 - RESULTS

Paul Ricard: 5th - Fabre/ Maury-Laribière/ Lecuyer
Monza: 8th - Fabre/ Maury-Laribière/ Lecuyer
Paris-Montlhéry: abandoned (3rd fastest in practice) - Sourd/ Maury-Laribière/ Lecuyer
Susuka: 11th - Maury-Laribière/ Libert/ Harada
Le Mans: 13th - Sourd/ Maury-Laribière/ Poulain

Paul Ricard: 10th - Sourd/ Maury-Laribière/ Hugenholtz
Monza: abandoned - Sourd/ Maury-Laribière/ Hugenholtz
Jarama: 22nd - Maury-Laribière/ Hugenholtz/ Camp
Silverstone: 16th - Maury-Laribière/ Hugenholtz/ Vosse
Nürburgring: 11th - Maury-Laribière/ Hugenholtz
Anderstorp: abandoned (11th fastest in practice) - Clerico/ Maury-Laribière
Susuka: abandoned (14th fastest in practice) - Clerico/ Maury-Laribière/ Libert
Spa: 21st - Maury-Laribière/ Libert/ Hugenholtz
Nogaro: abandoned (10th fastest in practice) - Grouillard/ Maury-Laribière

Hockenheim: 14th - Thévenin/ Maury-Laribière
Nürburgring: 17th - Maury-Laribière/ Velay
Spa: 22nd - Maury-Laribière/ Velay/ Chauvin
Susuka: abandoned - Maury-Laribière/ Harada/ Yoshikawa

In line with the initial spirit of the BPR Championship, the car was driven by amateurs assisted by a professional, who varied according to the type of race: Pascal Fabre (F1), Emmanuel Clerico (F3000), Olivier Grouillard (F1), Marc Sourd (French Supertouring Champion).

At the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1996, Maury-Laribière teamed up with former Indy 500 Champion Arie Luyendyk and Le Mans 24 Hours winner Stanley Dickens. Sadly the splendid McLaren failed to qualify after sustaining damage during practice.

Later the car was sold to a businessman who had taken part in the 1997 Lamborghini Trophy. He did not enter the N°5 for any races, but meticulously maintained it so he could drive it at circuits whenever he felt like it.

Like many demanding connoisseurs, we believe that the first seven GTRs, built for the BPR 1995 season, remain the finest and purest - reflecting Gordon Murray's creative genius without correction or addition.


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