Zak Brown revives McLaren's interest in the Hypercar

A persistent rumor since the start of Hypercar regulations, a possible arrival of McLaren in the premier category of Endurance was relaunched by Zak Brown during the last 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Published on 20/06/2024 à 09:45

Valentin GLO

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Zak Brown revives McLaren's interest in the Hypercar

Zak Brown during the F1 Canadian Grand Prix - Photo: Florent Gooden / DPPI

The McLaren sea serpent in Hypercar resurfaces. Present at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Zak Brown, CEO of Mclaren racing, reiterated to certain Anglo-Saxon media, including our colleagues from RACER et dailysportscar, his desire to enter the queen category ofEndurance following the announcement of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) and theIMSA to extend the current LMH/LMDh regulation until 2029.

« Cost in any motorsport is of crucial importance and the extension of homologation definitely helps our business model that we have defined internally, Brown said. If we advance to the next class – and the question is more when than if – then this extension is favorable. It gives us more breathing room because you wouldn't want to compete in a championship in its final season. »

McLaren in Hypercar in 2027?

An interest from the Woking (Great Britain) firm in the Hypercar is not new, with Zak Brown affirming his interest in this regulation even before it came into force in 2021. Last year, the Californian confided to AUTOhebdo that " At this stage, McLaren has not established any firm plans around the WEC. McLaren must first decide whether we are going to do it or not. The GT3 falls under our automotive division and the Hypercar falls under mine. I've been working on these projects for a while. It is no different from theIndyCar : the desire to enter the race was expressed in 2017 and it was not until 2020 that it came to fruition. I would like McLaren to launch Hypercar, but it has to fit into the existing commercial infrastructure and we have to be sure we have the right timing. »

With the team's return to the forefront in Formula 1 and solid foundations in IndyCar, could the right timing have arrived? “ We think it (a Hypercar program) would be great for the brand, added Brown at Le Mans. We love sports car racing and there's a lot going on in our industry. On the racing side, we needed to get our Formula 1 team back into the spotlight and that is now very close to being the case. Our IndyCar team is also strong. »

« We are making profits, McLaren Racing is in very good health. It's just a question of timing.", insists Brown, who mentions 2027 as a possible entry date. If McLaren were to launch into Hypercar, it would probably be in LMDh in order to be able to race on both sides of the Atlantic. With United Autosports, also co-owned by Zak Brown and which has just won once again in LM P2 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the English manufacturer already has a possible partner for technical operation. Wait and see.

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Valentin GLO

Journalist. Endurance reporter (WEC, IMSA, ELMS, ALMS) and sometimes F1 or IndyCar.

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