In 1995, McLaren took advantage of the new GT1 regulations to take the F1 to Le Mans. Since only one road-going version had to be made to homologate the model, it was a relatively easy process to get the race version approved. Not long thereafter McLaren Cars Ltd was offering the GTR to private customers for the BPR Global Endurance series and Le Mans.
For the first season five cars were built including the prototype, owned by McLaren Cars, and eventual winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours in March 1995. This example was loaned to Kokusai Kaihatsu Racing for Drivers Yannick Dalmas, Masanori Sekiya and JJ Lehto. They outpaced the faster Le Mans Prototypes by maintaining a high average speed with little to no reliability issues.
05R-Sold to industrialist Jean-Luc Maury-Laribière, entered by BBA Competition (Team Noel Del Bello), sponsored by Tuiles TBF. The art design was the work of César who used prints of his crushed race trophies from Hervé Poulain. When designing the car he explained “It’s rather like protective armour”.
The car was driven at the 1995 Le Mans 24 Hours by Marc Sourd, Hervé Poulain and Jean-Luc Maury-Laribière for BBA Compétition and placed 13th overall. The car was used extensively in the 1996 BPR series but failed to qualify after accident damage at Le Mans. 05R was retired half way through 1997. IN restored condition it was offered at Articurial’s 2010 ‘Sport & GTS au Mans Classic’ auction.
1994 McLaren F1 GTR 05R – did not sell for €1,800,000 Chassis number 5 was acquired by Jean-Luc Maury-Laribière – an industrialist from south-west France, defending the colours of his tile-making company TBF – who had taken part in the Venturi Trophy in 1992, 1993 and 1994, and in the 1994 Le Mans 24 Hours, behind the wheel of a Venturi 500 LM. Irrespective of its history and track record, this McLaren is of especial note as a member of the ArtCar Pantheon: it was decorated for the 1995 Le Mans 24 Hours by one of the most famous members of the Pop Art movement – the sculptor César.
In line with the initial spirit of the BPR Championship, the car was driven by amateurs assisted by a professional, who varied according to the type of race: Pascal Fabre (F1), Emmanuel Clerico (F3000), Olivier Grouillard (F1), Marc Sourd (French Supertouring Champion).
At the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1996, Maury-Laribière teamed up with former Indy 500 Champion Arie Luyendyk and Le Mans 24 Hours winner Stanley Dickens. Sadly the splendid McLaren failed to qualify after sustaining damage during practice.
Later the car was sold to a businessman who had taken part in the 1997 Lamborghini Trophy. He did not enter the N°5 for any races, but meticulously maintained it so he could drive it at circuits whenever he felt like it.
Like many demanding connoisseurs, we believe that the first seven GTRs, built for the BPR 1995 season, remain the finest and purest – reflecting Gordon Murray’s creative genius without correction or addition. Auction Source: 2010 Artcurial Sport & GTs au Mans Classic