Mika Hakkinen to drive McLaren F1 GTR at Laguna Seca

The double Formula 1 champion will return to the Monterey Motorsports Reunion in August

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Mika Hakkinen will celebrate 20 years since winning his first Formula 1 world title by driving a McLaren F1 GTR around Laguna Seca throughout the Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

The two-time F1 champion will take to the famed Californian circuit for two 15-minute sessions across August 24, either side of an interview on the Paddock Stage. Hakkinen will also meet with guests and take part in an autograph session.

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The Finn returns to the Reunion for the second year in a row. In 2017, he drove Emerson Fittipaldi’s 1974 title winning McLaren M23 grand prix car.

But this time he will swap single-seaters for an F1 GTR, of which only 28 were built.

A race homologated version of the then fastest car in the world, after success in the BPR Global GT Series, a privately entered GTR won Le Mans overall in 1995 against opposition from bespoke prototypes.

Its BMW-supplied, naturally aspirated 600bhp V12 produced less power than its roadcar counterpart owing to regulations that enforced air restrictors. This combined with a revised aero package to increase downforce meant the GTR was recorded at 175mph on the Mulsanne Straight. For 1997, the revised long tail F1 was capable of 197mph.

The penultimate McLaren F1 built, a GTR upgraded with an LM engine, is to be sold by RM Sotheby's via its new Private Sales division.

Over 1000 entries for the Reunion are submitted each year, but only half of the race cars are selected.

Nissan is the celebrated manufacturer for 2018, but the line-up also includes grids for 1967-’84 F1 cars, plus Formula 5000, Trans-Am and Can-Am races.

Advance general admission tickets for the August 23-26 weekend begin at $60 and a four-day ticket at $170, which includes a complimentary souvenir magazine. Children 15 and under are free with a paying adult. There are also VIP hospitality packages that start from $225 per person.

For more information visit the Monterey Motorsports Reunion website.

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