Today, McLaren announced a new certification service for the F1 so owners can verify the history of their cars. The first car to be certified is this, F1 GTR chassis #25R, which just underwent an 18-month restoration by McLaren Special Operations. It is incredibly gorgeous.
This F1 was built to run in the 1997 FIA GT Championship, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
It's a "longtail" F1, which features radically different bodywork than the F1 road car, and the F1 GTR that won Le Mans in 1995.
That long tail not only gave this car its nickname, it helped improve aerodynamics.
At Le Mans, this car was raced by Ray Bellm—who was one of the driving forces behind the F1 GTR program—Andrew Gilbert-Scott and Masanori Sekiya.
Unfortunately, it didn't finish, suffering an oil line failure hours before the end of the race.
After the 1997 season, this car enjoyed a long racing career in Japan, culminating in a 2005 race at Fuji Speedway. That makes this the longest raced F1.
After its retirement, it sat in a collection for many years, so when its new owner purchased it in 2016, a full restoration by McLaren Special Operations was commissioned.
McLaren used new-old-stock parts made before June 1997, so it now presents as was before it raced at Le Mans.
The car even has gear ratios tailored for the high speeds of Le Mans.
The livery is exactly as it was for Le Mans, too.
It is stunning.