McLaren have announced plans to return to GT racing from 2012. The F1 heavyweights will – in conjunction with CRS Racing – supply and support a number of GT3 cars based on the McLaren MP4-12C.

McLaren’s return to involvement in GT competition is a long time coming. Their F1 GTR took class honours at the Le Mans 24 Hours back in 1995, whilst it is now 12 years since the longtail McLarens last contested famous French enduro.

Now the team, alongside CRS Racing, have begun development work aimed at turning the 12C road car into a race-winning GT3 entrant.

“Racing is in our blood – it was natural to develop a GT3 car alongside the 12C road car,” said McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh. “We have a legendary history in global motorsport, including GT racing, and we aim to maintain that reputation with this GT3 programme, and any future sports car projects that may evolve.

“It is a rare opportunity to work with a company like McLaren and we are proud to be involved. Together, we aim to produce the highest quality GT car on the grid,” added CRS team principal Andrew Kirkardy.