Several Middle East customers were at Goodwood as McLaren’s guests, but we wonder if there’s the possibility of putting on an event similar to Goodwood in the GCC. Ian hopes so.
“I think it would be fantastic to see an event like this in the Middle East. My wish would be that on alternate years, when we don’t have a Dubai Motor Show, that we did something like a Dubai Festival of Speed, or Abu Dhabi, or Bahrain – somewhere in the Middle East. If we saw the right venue and the right plans, we’d do it. It would have to be an alternate year to one of the major motor shows, otherwise there’d perhaps be too much of an investment, because it’s got to be done well.
“What’s great about something like this, whereas a motor show is quite stand-offish in some areas, here people can interact with millions of pounds-worth of cars and really get to know a brand better than at a regular motor show.”
One of the cars on display was the new track-only GT Sprint, a car that according to Ian has had considerable interest from the Middle East.
“A lot of people are saying ‘I love my 12C, when are we getting a track version?’,” he said. “Rather than letting other people do it, we’re a specialist in motor racing so we’re putting it together.
“The GT3 is a pure race car, you need engineers and laptops just to fire it up. The GT Sprint is a gentleman’s race car. People can take it on the track or put it in a race series.”
Interesting. So rather than just an expensive track day toy, could we see these things racing in the region, a la Porsche, Radical and Maserati?
“Whether we’ll create a race series is yet to be decided. It’s something that there’s a demand for but we’re still new. We can’t have too much complexity in the business, we’re focused on getting these cars to the customers, building the P1. There’s a lot going on with McLaren. For us to distract ourselves and create a new race series at the moment is unlikely but there are other people that are interested in doing their own series. We might be able to support something; there are several people talking to us.”
So, there you have it – maybe, but nothing’s arranged yet. Still, our fingers are crossed…