F1 GTR
F1 GTR|Ueno Clinic livery McLaren F1 GTR winning at Le Mans 1995
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Concours of Elegance 2020 reveals McLaren F1 GTR 25th anniversary display

The McLaren F1 GTRs that finished 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th at the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans will form the centerpiece display, lining up alongside nearly 1,000 motoring legends from Bugatti, Ferrari and more

Sudipto Chaudhury

The Concours of Elegance has revealed its specially curated centerpiece display for 2020: a lineup of the McLaren F1 GTRs that finished 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th at Le Mans 24 Hours in 1995. Taking place from September 4 to 6 in the Fountain Gardens of Hampton Court Palace, the Concours of Elegance is celebrating the 25th anniversary of McLaren’s unique motorsport achievement.

Concours of Elegance’s centerpiece display is reserved only for the most extraordinary vehicles or astonishing motoring feats, which in the past has included a celebration of the Jaguar D-Type’s 1-2-3-4-6 finish at Le Mans. But, arguably, the McLaren F1 GTR’s achievement is all the more remarkable, not least because a motorsport-ready McLaren F1 was never part of the production plan.

The McLaren F1 GTR was an afterthought, demanded by F1 customers who wanted to take their cars racing. To that end, the F1 GTR began testing in January 1995, with the Le Mans 24 Hours race only five months away, where it would be competing against not only modified production cars but prototype vehicles designed specifically for endurance racing. Unfazed, the F1 GTR attained one of the most comprehensive motorsport victories of all time, taking four of the top five places, and the top four GT1 places. The achievement shouldn’t be understated as the F1 GTR, essentially the road car with only a few modifications, beat many vehicles specifically designed and engineered for a race that takes in a whole season’s worth of racing in just 24 hours.

McLaren F1 GTR at Le Mans 1995
McLaren F1 GTR at Le Mans 1995 McLaren F1 GTR

All four cars will be parked side-by-side at the Concours of Elegance 2020; the winning Kokusal Kaihatsu Racing car, the third-place Harrods-liveried car of Andy Wallace, Derek Bell and Justin Bell, the fourth-place Gulf Racing F1 GTR and the Giroix Racing Team F1 GTR that finished fifth.

Speaking about this year’s event, Andrew Evans, director, Concours of Elegance said: “The Concours of Elegance is all about shining a light on the most astonishing stories and creations in the motoring world, and bringing them to one of the world’s most beautiful palaces for our visitors to enjoy. Arguably there’s no more emotive story than that of the F1 GTR, a car no one expected anything of which then went on to one of the most convincing victories ever seen at the world’s hardest motor race. We’re excited to bring these amazing vehicles together in 2020, but it really is just one small part of a very carefully curated selection of special features and world-class automobiles set for our event.”

Concours of Elegance will also bring together a number of other displays and special features, to create three days of automotive and luxury celebration, including around 1,000 motoring greats of all types and ages. During 2019, for instance, the event gathered one of every single Aston Martin Zagato variant ever produced, and hosted around 50 significant Jaguars as part of the Jaguar Trophy.

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