McLaren celebrates its Le Mans success at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

To mark this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans and the marque’s 50th anniversary, the company will be showcasing three iconic examples of the McLaren F1 at next month’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Chassis F1/01R will be joined by the one-off prototype of the McLaren F1 LM, famously built to honour the victory and five finishing cars at the French endurance event, and also the Gulf-liveried McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ which claimed second place at Le Mans in 1997.

It’s 18 years since the F1 GTR, piloted by Yannick Dalmas, J.J. Lehto and Masanori Sekiya crossed the finish line at Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans to claim victory and in doing so make McLaren the only racing team ever to have won in Formula 1, Indy 500, Can-Am and Le Mans.

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The F1 LM was born from the success of the all-conquering GTR in 1995, and the lightweight, unrestricted limited edition was finished in the famous McLaren heritage ‘Papaya Orange’ of Bruce McLaren’s early Formula 1 and Can-Am racers. The one-off prototype, codenamed F1/XP1LM will take its place on the McLaren stand at Goodwood alongside a selection of other key models from the marque’s history.

Completing the line-up will be the McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’, chassis F1/20R, which is finished in the famous blue and orange Gulf livery.

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The F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ was built for the 1997 season, and takes its name from the revised bodywork which provided further levels of downforce, and reduced drag, over the previous generation models. The new model claimed numerous race victories throughout the season and chassis F1/20R, driven by Pierre-Henri Raphanel, Jean-Marc Gounon and Anders Olofsson, claimed class victory and another podium finish overall for McLaren at Le Mans.

Topping the appearance of McLaren’s Le Mans heroes is the new P1, which will make its dynamic debut at the Festival of Speed. Sadly that’s unlikely to appear at Le Mans, but then again we said the same thing about the F1 prior to 1995, so perhaps its best to wait and see..