McLaren F1 20th Anniversary Tour – Report and Photos
A tour honoring the 20th anniversary of the McLaren F1 was held 28th May to 1st June 2012 in Italy.
In 1988, McLaren took the decision to expand from Formula One and design and build, “the finest sports car the world had ever seen.” In March 1990 the team that was to create the F1 came together for the first time, led by Chief Engineer Gordon Murray.
Just two years later, the McLaren F1 road car was launched to the world on 28th May 1992 in Monaco, with the first production car delivered in December 1993. Its technical innovation, racing provenance, revolutionary packaging and extraordinary driving experience have made it an icon.
In late 2011, ex-McLaren F1 GTR racer and current F1 owner Ray Bellm realized that nothing was planned to honor the the 20th anniversary of the Monaco debut. The F1, now considered to be one of the all-time greatest cars, deserved a proper birthday party. Therefore, with agreement from McLaren, Bellm created the McLaren F1 Owners Club as a vehicle to organize events for F1 owners to enjoy their cars and celebrate certain milestones in the car’s famed history.
The first event for the McLaren F1 Owners Club would celebrate the 20th anniversary of the launch of the car, starting the day after the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix. Based at Villa Feltrinelli on Lake Garda in Northern Italy, the McLaren F1 20th Anniversary Tour featured three days of driving with routes that included the Sella Runde/Passa Pordoi, the Valpolicella wine area and a shorter first day around the back of the lake near the Adamello Mountains.
A total of 19 McLaren F1s were assembled for the rally, of which five were the GTR racing variant and 14 were road cars. They were supported by the technical team of McLaren Special Operations and its Programme Director Paul McKenzie. They brought eight engineers and six McLaren MP4-12C’s as support cars in case of technical issues and to allow F1 owners to try the newer cars.
The McLaren F1 20th Anniversary Tour was opened by Gordon Murray whose own XP3 was present; he gave the welcome speech to many owners who had not met him before. Nice lunches, an informal approach and plenty of time to relax was the order of the event. The Tour culminated with a charming ferry ride back across Lake Garda from the Valpolicella wine area to the Villa Feltrinelli, followed by a farewell dinner in informal attire with the now-famous Phyly Boyz playing the night away.
McLaren F1 20th Anniversary Tour – Photo Gallery
[Source: McLaren; photo credit: C M Arte; Alastair Bols]