Artura GT4 Impresses On International Competitive Debut At Daytona As 720S Takes Class Podium In Iconic 24 Hour Race
The new McLaren Artura GT4 impressed on its competitive debut in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race at Daytona on a successful weekend for McLaren Motorsport in which the 720S GT3 finished on the GTD class podium in the iconic 24 Hour race. The Artura secured a top 10 qualifying position was followed by a competitive sixth place in the four-hour GT4 race in which both cars had a clear run to the checkered flag.
Two Artura GT4 cars were entered by the Motorsports In Action and Crucial Motorsports teams at the Daytona 24 Hour-supporting race for GT4 cars, which began the 2023 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season in the US. The first two customer cars to be built by McLaren Motorsport – following an extensive test and development program – were delivered to the teams late last year.
Motorsports In Action’s all-Canadian driver line-up Jesse Lazare and Alex Filsinger starred in qualifying, securing a top 10 grid slot in the number 69 Artura GT4 for the four-hour race at the world-famous Daytona International Speedway in Florida, USA. The car ran in a fiercely-fought top 20 of the 46-car field for the majority of the race, completing the event in 21st place.
The Crucial Motorsport entry of US drivers Michael de Quesada, Henry O’Hara and Aurora Straus headed into qualifying having just repaired their car following a collision in final practice and started from 30th place. Having established a competitive pace early on, the team staged a dramatic comeback in the second half of the race, rapidly ascending the order to eighth place. A final stop on lap 86 was well-timed, and with rivals still needing to pit the number 58 Artura GT4 returned to the top 10 in the closing laps, rapidly closing on the cars ahead. With fewer than 10 of the 107 laps left to run, de Quesa took four more positions to finish in an excellent sixth place on the Artura GT4’s competitive debut, a little over 10 seconds behind the overall leader.
Completing a successful weekend for McLaren Motorsport, the Inception Motorsport 720S GT3 finished on the GTD class podium in the iconic Daytona 24 Hour race. Drivers Brendan Iribe, Fabien Schandorff, Oliver Millroy and Marvin Kirchhofer qualified a competitive sixth in class and fought until the checkered flag, finishing within 17 seconds of the winning car after 729 laps.
The new Artura GT4 shares much of its technology with the McLaren Artura road car, including the motorsport-inspired McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture (MCLA) and the compact and power-dense 120-degree V6 twin turbo engine. This meticulous attention to weight-saving means that the Artura GT4 is considerably lighter than its predecessor.
In addition to supreme chassis balance, the Artura GT has also been designed to be accessible to drivers of all abilities and race teams. Chassis and powertrain adjustments can be made quickly and tuned to the driver’s exact requirements, while serviceability is much improved over the outgoing 570S GT4.
Exceptional demand for the new Artura GT4 means that McLaren Motorsport is currently at full capacity fulfilling customer orders with the car set to be represented in many GT4 championships across the globe. Many of these cars will compete in the more powerful and higher downforce Artura Trophy configuration in the new McLaren Trophy championship, which commences in June.
“This was a fantastic weekend that began with a very strong result for the Artura GT4 in the IMSA Michelin Pilot challenge at Daytona this weekend. The nature of GT4 regulations and competitiveness of the field means that we were realistic with our expectations, and this is great reward for the development team’s hard work over the last 18 months in building a great race car for our customers. This result should also be attributed to the superb efforts of both Crucial Motorsports and Motorsports In Action; both teams have quickly adapted to the new car, one of our key aims for the Artura GT4 program and this means that have been able to apply their focus towards performance.
Congratulations also to Inception Motorsport for a sensational class podium in the Daytona 24 Hours – this is a hugely significant result and a great start to the 720S GT3’s fifth season of competition from a team that keeps getting stronger. Overall, a tremendous weekend with much to look forward to from the 720S GT3 and Artura GT4 this year – not just in the US but around the world, including the new McLaren Trophy championship.”
Ian Morgan, Director of Motorsport, McLaren Automotive