650S GT3 wins on Melbourne debut

The McLaren 650S GT3 enjoys further success down under on its debut at Albert Park in Melbourne



After conquering Australia’s iconic Mount Panorama with an historic clean sweep at the Bathurst 12 Hour, and claiming a victory and multiple podiums at the opening round of the 2016 Australian GT Championship, the McLaren 650S GT3 returned to racing Down Under this past weekend.

Five examples of the 650S GT3 contested a highly competitive grid, as the Australian GT Championship returned to Albert Park in Melbourne for the first time in six years to support the Australian Grand Prix. Despite a strong field and a tough opening race, the customer teams soon got to grips with both the track and tricky conditions, securing a race win and three further podiums for the 650S GT3 on its debut in Melbourne.

The first race proved extremely difficult with Tekno Autosports driver Nathan Morcom the only one to finish in the top 10, but the early setback proved to be short-lived. In a dramatic second race, much of the grid opted for wet tyres, but Morcom and his Tekno Autosports team-mates all chose slick Pirelli P Zero tyres and this decision was to be a key factor in the outcome. The final result saw Morcom take the overall race victory, heading four McLarens in the top five.

The third and fourth races of the weekend were completed in less challenging conditions, but were no less intense or action-packed, with customer teams Darrell Lea and Objective Racing securing a podium finish each to complete another successful weekend for the 650S GT3. The results now see Klark Quinn second in the Australian GT championship with his Darrell Lea team, while Nathan Morcom and Tekno Autosports lie closely behind in third.

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The impressive finishes mark another strong weekend for the 650S GT3, and alongside the successes in Australia in 2016, this year the race version of the McLaren Super Series has already secured the Asian Le Mans Series title and taken podium finishes in the first two rounds of the Pirelli World Challenge in North America.

Next month will also see even more examples of the 650S GT3 take to the track, as customer team Garage 59 will contest the 2016 Blancpain Endurance Series and Blancpain Sprint Series. As part of a bold plan, the team will take part in a 10-date calendar visiting some of the most iconic circuits in Europe, with the first races of both series coming in April.

This year also marks the race debut of the new McLaren 570S GT4. Recently revealed, the racing McLaren Sports Series will now enter an intensive season-long development programme, and the rigorous test schedule will include live race environments as it competes in the full nine-round calendar of the British GT championship.

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