Certification service launched for McLaren F1s

| 31 Aug 2018
Classic & Sports Car – Certification service launched for McLaren F1s

If you're lucky enough to own one of the 106 McLaren F1s, now you can have its heritage authenticated.

Of course, being McLaren, the announcement of this programme has been celebrated with the unveiling of the first F1 approved for certification, the '25R' 1997 F1 GTR Longtail.

And this car, the last F1 GTR to compete in period, is starring in this weekend's Hampton Court Concours of Elegance (31 August-2 September).

Classic & Sports Car – Certification service launched for McLaren F1s
Classic & Sports Car – Certification service launched for McLaren F1s
Classic & Sports Car – Certification service launched for McLaren F1s
Classic & Sports Car – Certification service launched for McLaren F1s
Battle-scarred from years of action, McLaren Special Operations has restored '25R'

All the 64 road cars 28 GTR racers built by McLaren between 1993 and 1998 are eligible for this scheme, designed to guarantee each car's authenticity, giving current and any future owners peace of mind.

The Certificate of Authenticity, issued exclusively by McLaren Automotive, establishes a car's provenance, originality, service life, condition and road or race history.

Conformity with the original specification and to any McLaren-approved upgrades is also confirmed by reference to the factory archives.

In addition, owners receive an illustrated book documenting the history of their car.

Classic & Sports Car – Certification service launched for McLaren F1s
Classic & Sports Car – Certification service launched for McLaren F1s
Classic & Sports Car – Certification service launched for McLaren F1s
Classic & Sports Car – Certification service launched for McLaren F1s
It wears its Gulf-Davidoff team livery and the number it carried at Le Mans in 1997

This chassis number 25 car has been restored to 'as-new' condition by McLaren Special Operations over the last 18 months.

It was built as one of three Longtail cars for the Gulf-Davidoff team for GT racing in 1997. That year, it was campaigned at Le Mans, with drivers Andrew Gilbert-Scott, Ray Bellm and Masanori Sekiya, but retired with two hours remaining when a oil line fractured, causing a fire.

Following factory repairs, '25R' was sold to Japan and was raced there until 2005 when, at the Fuji Speedway, it became the last F1 GTR to contest a contemporary race series.

It was then exhibited in Japan before being sold to its current owner who returned it to the UK in 2016.

Its owner's collection is curated by classic car consultancy Kidston SA, founded by McLaren owner and international broker of F1s Simon Kidston.

Classic & Sports Car – Certification service launched for McLaren F1s
This is the final F1 GTR to race in period and now it's back to best

When work began, '25R' required extensive work and the new parts used weren't only specific to the 1997 GTR, they're all pre-June ’97 parts, meaning the finished car is exactly as it would've been when it left for the Circuit de la Sarthe.

That includes the blue identification lights on the roof that come from an aircraft's wing and are the only non-McLaren part on it.

"Even among F1 GTRs, this car, designated '25R', is unique – and now it is as near to being new as we can make it," said Ansar Ali, Managing Director, McLaren Special Operations.

"The car is the exemplar of everything that the new certification programme stands for and we are proud to have '25R' as the very first McLaren F1 Certified car."

McLaren Automotive's Chief Executive Officer Mike Flewitt added: "McLaren cherishes its rich heritage of iconic and world-beating cars such as the F1.

"'25R' presented us with a unique opportunity to demonstrate this by restoring it to precisely how it was when it raced at Le Mans in 1997, thus ensuring its future."


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