Just what is it about the Gulf Oil livery that seems to transform even an already-special car into something extraordinary? Whatever it is, this gorgeous McLaren F1 GTR has it in lorry-loads …
The debate still rages here at GRR about whether it’s the long or the short-tailed version of McLaren’s legendary road-car-come-racer which is the better-looking. The sight of this McLaren F1 GTR resplendent in its famous blue-and-orange livery inside our temporary studio at the 73rd Members’ Meeting has swayed some into the camp of the former. Doesn’t it just look superb?
After McLaren’s famous 1995 victory, a fleet of ‘customer’ F1 GTRs returned to La Sarthe in the face of some very stout competition from Porsche’s 911 GT1. As it happened, despite performing well the Porsches lost top spot on the podium to the controversial TWR Porsche WSC-95, which was actually based on a Jaguar XJR-14 …
At the finish F1 GTRs came home in a highly-respectable fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth, ninth and eleventh positions. The car that managed fifth, driven by Pierre-Henri Raphanel, Lindsay Owen-Jones and David Brabham is chassis 15R which you see here.
After finishing Le Mans as the second of the F1GTRs, 15R was raced by Owen-Jones (now Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones) in the BPR series for a couple of years before being acquired by the Rofgo Collection a couple of years ago and then brought along to the 73rd Members Meeting where it was adored alongside many of it’s F1 GTR close relatives.
We’re told that the car is unlikely to be seen again in public in the near future, although if you’re planning on attending Chris Evans’ Carfest South on the 28th – 30th August there’s a chance that it’ll be involved. If that’s not possible then the best we can do is offer to sate your F1 GTR thirst with the breathtaking pictures you see here.
Photography: Antony Fraser