Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bahrain Grand Prix Race Report

"Only one team were demonstrably quicker than us today, but sadly they were a lot quicker than us"

Bahrain International Circuit, Sunday April 6
The 2014 Gulf Air Grand Prix, the 10th to be held at the Bahrain International Circuit and the first to be held under floodlights, was a disappointing event for all at McLaren.
An unremarkable qualifying performance – Jenson gridded sixth and Kevin eighth – was followed by a race showing that could have resulted in a decent points-scoring finish, for Jenson at least, but instead ended in a double DNF owing to clutch problems on both cars.


Started: 6th
Finished: DNF (Classified 16th)
Fastest Lap: 1m39.565s on lap 37 (+2.545s, 10th)
Pitstops: Two: lap 17 (2.55s), lap 35 (2.93s) [Opt-Opt-Pri]
Points: 23 (5th)

"In terms of pace, we took a step forward this weekend.
"Moreover, our degradation was positive and I think we did a very good job understanding our tires.
"Only one team were demonstrably quicker than us today – Mercedes – but sadly they were a lot quicker than us. Having said that, our long-run pace was very good, especially over the last few laps, so I reckon we could have raced very hard to the finish on the Primes. But unfortunately I didn’t get that opportunity.
"It’s tough for all the team, because they all worked really well and really hard. We were set for fifth place at worst and a podium finish at best, and that would have been a very positive outcome for all of us.
"In summary, then, there was lots of good racing out there – I can’t even remember how many cars I overtook but it was quite a lot – and I think it was the same for almost everyone out there. I really enjoyed it, in fact.
"Formula 1 may have new power units and technical regs this year, but it’s clearly every bit as good as it ever was in terms of on-track spectacle."


Started: 8th
Finished: DNF
Fastest Lap: 1m40.108s on lap 40 (+3.088s, 14th)
Pitstops: Three: lap 14 (2.71s), lap 25 (3.59s) and lap 38 (3.36s) [Opt-Opt-Opt-Pri]
Points: 20 (7th)

"We’d been expecting that the colder conditions might help us, but, as things panned out, we were actually a little less strong here than we were in Malaysia, for some reason."That wasn’t a great race for me. The start wasn’t ideal – I lost three positions – and after that we just didn’t have enough pace to make progress towards the front.
"We’ll analyze that carefully, and I’m sure we’ll learn from it. We’re learning all the time, in fact.
"It’s disappointing that we didn’t score points today – two DNFs is never pleasant for any team – but we’ll approach the Chinese Grand Prix with the aim of doing quite a bit better than we did here in Bahrain."

ERIC BOULLIER - Racing Director, McLaren Mercedes
"Well, it goes without saying that we’re leaving Bahrain bitterly disappointed.
"We didn’t have the fastest car this weekend, we know that, but, had our cars not both been afflicted with clutch problems towards the end of the race, triggering their retirements, at least we’d have been leaving with some more championship points on the scoreboard.
"In fact, had Jenson’s car run reliably to the flag, there’s every chance that he’d have been fighting for fifth, fourth or potentially even third place.
"Granted, minor placings aren’t what McLaren is all about – on the contrary we exist to win – but a third-, fourth- or fifth-place finish would have been extremely welcome in terms of our achieving what we’d set out to accomplish in these early-in-the-season fly-away races: namely, steadily pick up championship points while we develop our car’s performance envelope for the beginning of the European season in Barcelona.
"Anyway, from here we’ll go back to Woking, where we’ll work as hard as we possibly can to improve our cars for Shanghai, where we’ll be hoping to put up a significantly better showing than we did here in Sakhir this evening."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

McLaren Newport Beach covers K-Pax Racing McLaren GT3 Team in Pirelli World Challenge Championship at Long Beach Grand Prix.

The Long Beach Grand Prix is an event that brings out all of California's true automotive enthusiasts. The event is centered mainly on the Indycar series-based Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Along with the main Grand Prix event, other forms of automotive racing took place including: Tequila PatrĂ³n's Sports Car Showcase featuring the TUDOR Championship, Pirelli's World Challenge Championship, Motegi Racing's Super Drift Challenge Championship, Pro/Celebrity Race, and SPEED Energy's Stadium Super Trucks Race.  In the center of it all was the Lifestyle Expo which hosted a large variety of vendors, booths, and displays including, but not limited to: Dodge/SRT, Ford, Recaro, Chevrolet, etc.

With special privileges granted for access by the Pirelli North America team, our photographer was able to get in the thick of the racing action.  K-Prax worked synonymously with the on-site McLaren GT staff to compete with a pair of McLaren 12C GT3 cars.  In the pits, cameras and cell phones were constantly snapping away as onlookers viewed the team's mechanics prepare the twin McLaren 12C GT3's for battle out on the circuit.  With Carbon Fiber here, louvered vents there, a minimalistic but functional approach can be witnessed as these 12C GT3 cars were clearly designed for a single purpose, and that purpose is to be the fastest around the circuit.

Using data from the practice session via on-board monitoring systems, the teams set up the cars for the optimum race settings.  Technicians from both K-Pax Racing's team and McLaren GT team viewed stats, logs, and made appropriate adjustments as they saw fit.

With Saturday long gone, Sunday meant only one thing to the K-Prax McLaren GT team…. Race Day.  Final tinkering completed, it was time for the twin 12C GT3 cars to hit the pavement.

The grid was set, cars in position, drivers ready.  The grid cleared as they announced "Drivers… start your engines.".  Only a few moments after that, an entire army of GT3 race cars accelerated as fast and hard as possible.  Suddenly, the anticipation faded with nervousness taking its place.

The pace of the race was incredibly fast and the twin 12C GT3 cars held their own putting up a grueling fight against the others.  Ultimately, K-Pax Racing car #9 driven by Alex Figge finished in Position 7 with the fastest lap of the entire race meanwhile car #6 driven by Robert Thorne did not finish due to mechanical issues.

McLaren Newport Beach would like to take the time to wish the K-Pax racing team the best wishes for future races.  A solid team with great drivers, we're sure they'll continue to show that McLaren is a race-bred team.  We would also like to thank the team at Pirelli North America for allowing us to document this race with incredible access.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

McLaren Newport Beach hosts Client Appreciation Dinner with CEO of McLaren Automotive, Mike Flewitt as special guest.

We here at McLaren Newport Beach are extremely lucky to have clients that are as passionate about McLaren as we are.  As we all know, McLaren is a racing team that has introduced the legendary McLaren F1 to the world.  When talks of McLaren surfaced about them building a new supercar, the MP4-12C, our passion-filled prospective clients were eager to learn more.

Since then, the 12C has taken automotive journalists and enthusiasts by storm.  Our clients, trusting in McLaren to deliver the ultimate road car, were exhilarated to hear about the McLaren F1 successor, the game-changing P1.  Taking from what McLaren Automotive learned with the P1, they introduce us to the McLaren 650S.  Last week, we hosted a McLaren 650S Launch Party where we invited guests to see and experience the latest and greatest from McLaren Automotive.  Yesterday, we continued the passionate enthusiasm and hosted a Client Appreciation Dinner as a thank you to our clients who have become a vital part of the McLaren Newport Beach family.  Our special guest of the night was Mike Flewitt, CEO of McLaren Automotive, who joins us from Woking - UK.

In the ideal Newport Beach style, we hosted our dinner on a private yacht.  The setting and weather were more than ideal as clients boarded our yacht.  We reserved some time for our guests to mingle and catch up since the last time they've seen each other.  With the sun setting across the water, we headed up stairs where a large room filled with tables awaiting us.  Our dealer principal, Bill Story, gave our guests a few words and a whole-hearted thank you for being a part of the Newport Beach family.  The remainder of the night slowly faded as we drifted back to the dock.

McLaren Newport Beach would like to take this moment and thank each and every guest who joined us last night.  We're especially thankful for having Mike Flewitt join us on this very special evening.

Friday, April 4, 2014

McLaren 650S Launch Party

Unveiled in Geneva, the McLaren 650S improves on an already remarkable MP4-12C.  The 650S Coupe and Spider share the same Carbon Fiber tub which provides an extremely rigid chassis, a perfect platform for building the ideal super sports car.  On Thursday evening of April 3rd, we hosted a launch party to initiate the 650S into our showroom.

The evening started out as any typical day here in Orange County.  The sun provided the perfect lighting to accentuate the various paint finishes of the vehicles as the guests arrived.  Volcano Yellow, Volcano Red, McLaren Orange, Azure Blue, Pearl White, Supernova Silver, Graphite Grey, all looked incredible as the metallic flakes glistened into the night.

With valet securing the prized vehicles, onlookers passing by wondered what was going on.  Hidden behind the glass veil of our store, our guests were greeted by the sight of a rare McLaren M6GT as they entered our showroom.  Under the limelight of our showroom was the McLaren 650S Spider finished in "Tarocco Orange".

As our expected guests were accounted for, our dealer principal, Bill Story, thanked our guests for being a part of the McLaren Newport Beach family.  Following Mr. Story was our General Manager, Pietro Frigerio, who gave an overview of the staff and their commitment to the McLaren brand.  Closing the presentation out was was Peter Freiberger, Sales Manager of McLaren North America, who joined us this special evening.  Giving an overview of the 650S Spider, he highlighted components of the 650S Spider that McLaren, in the constant pursuit of perfection, had improved on since the 12C.  He concluded the presentation as we unveiled the 650S Spider with Mr. Freiberger motionining our guests to experience the 650S Spider in full detail.  The perfectly-textured Alcantara & perfectly-woven Carbon Fiber seen in pictures is a true pleasure to witness, but to view the dynamic interaction of the light bouncing off the materials is something pictures cannot capture to the fullest extent.

As our guests mingled and discussed with each other various aspects of the 650S Spider that caught their attention, others were sliding in to see just how much of an impact the changes from the 12C to the 650S were in the cockpit. Without a doubt, the 650S was warmly received by all.  Our clients note and appreciate the details, and McLaren was spot-on with their 650S model.  We look forward to receiving the incoming McLaren 650S Coupes and Spiders.