1995 McLaren F1 GTR #42
Pilots: J-L. Maury-Laribiere, M. Sourd, H. Poulain
Team: Sté. BBA Compétition
Race: 13th GC at Le Mans in 1995
TSM - 144328 (resin)
McLaren F1 GTR #59 (05/27/18):
Gordon Murray, the father of the McLaren F1, originally saw his creation as the ultimate road car. Even though the car had many race car characteristics, it was basically just a passenger car. However, in 1994, with the creation of the BPR Global GT Series, the use of modified sports cars became feasible. And with that, a few racing teams immediately thought about the McLaren F1.
At first Murray was totally against the idea. With time, however, he gave in and agreed to modify a few F1 chassis with all-out racing in mind. These race-specific cars were called F1 GTR. The stock F1 was basically a race car for the streets, so the conversion demanded very few modifications. McLaren stripped the interior and added cooling ducts and a roll cage. They also swapped stock brakes for high-end carbon units and added large wing the rear. Legend says that the F1 GTR could drive on the ceiling of a tunnel at only 160 km/h!
Powered by BMW’s S70/2GTR engine, the F1 GTR was rated at 592 hp. The engine was a cutting edge V12 (60°) with 48 valves and DOHC, and displaced 6064 cm³. BBA bought chassis #05R new in 1995, and debuted the car at Paul Ricard. In the following June, at La Sarthe, it started in 20th in the grid. The 1995 24 Heure du Mans was the year of the F1. Of the nine cars built, seven (!) raced that year. F1 GTR #42 completed 267 laps, finishing in 13th – 22 laps behind the winning #59. The 1995 race was the only time that #05R raced at La Sarthe. In 1996 and 1997 it did prequalify, but did not actually race.
The F1 GTR #42 did not obtain a spectacular result at Le Mans. But what was spectacular was the livery. BBA’s founder, pilot Jean-Luc Maury-Laribiére, wanted a personalized paint job for Le Mans. So he got in touch with famous French sculpture Cesare “César” Baldaccini who transformed #05R into an art car. I couldn’t find actual mention of this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Hervé Poulain had a say in this project.
After Le Mans it raced from 1996 to 1998 (at Monza, Jarama, Nürburgring, etc) with a different livery. In fact, after 1996 it even sported an art car livery, like in Nürbrgring in 1997 or in Dijon, in July 1998. However, nowadays the car sports the original 1995 livery. Interestingly, César passed away in December of 1998, so if (IF!) he repainted #05R it was possibly his last work. Even so, on the web you will read that the car retained the “original” livery ever since 1995. So don’t believe everything you read on the internet…
Paint job originality aside, in scale it’s a heckuva model. TSM absolutely nailed the livery, and detail-wise it’s a beauty. Minichamps also offers this model, but as you can see compared to my #59, TSM’s version takes the cigar. Expensive, much more than the Minichamps version, but for the art car loony it’s the one to get.