Reports suggesting that McLaren might be the next OEM to present a DPi programme for IMSA competition are wide of the mark DSC understands.
With the LMP2 chassis manufacturers working hard to hook manufacturer-backed, or OEM-engined programmes recent statements from McLaren CEO Zak Brown have been presented as de facto evidence that a DPi programme is a favoured programme for the Woking, UK based manufacturer.
DSC believes though that McLaren’s current position is aimed at a general openness to evaluating a range of motorsport opportunities beyond F1 available to McLaren.
Sportscar racing in general, and GTE, and/ or DPi in particular are only part of a current major series of considerations, as confirmed by McLaren CEO Zak Brown in recent comments to RACER Magazine.
Prototype race programmes having been evaluated for several years within McLaren, the marque keeping a weather eye on the potential for a return to the scene of their Le Mans triumph in 1995 with the McLaren F1 GTR.
McLaren have also been taking a close look at GTE for some time, a concept for a McLaren MP4/12 C GTE making substantial progress through the design stages before being shelved some years ago.
“It would be no surprise to hear that chassis manufacturers and US teams may have enquired about the possibility of a McLaren DPi effort.” said a source. “The reality is though that this is not a programme that is currently being looked at internally by the company.”
It seems the most likely possibility for such a programme if it were to emerge in the near future is if a privateer effort opted to adopt a McLaren powerplant for a DPi effort, in the same way as ESM took forward their programme with Ligier as a chassis supplier, and NISMO/ Nissan as an customer engine supplier.
Other similarly sourced efforts are understood to be under active evaluation at present including a Ferrari-engined DPi concept funded by the money man behind a major European-based Ferrari GT customer team.