The McLaren F1 GTR: Legend

To most, the word McLaren is synonymous with F1, the definitive supercar McLaren F1, and the heyday of CanAm racing. The McLaren F1 GTR, however, was an entirely different animal that faced some stout competition against the world's best manufacturers — and won.

The car is mostly based on the road-going McLaren F1, and it actually had to be de-tuned to 600 horsepower to meet international racing regulations. Still, in '95 it topped 236 miles per hour on the infamous Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans, en route to an overall victory, beating out cars from much higher prototype classes.

As an example of how little they changed from the road car to the race car, these were the stock pedals.

After a couple of years, regulations changed and Mercedes dropped the CLK GTR on the world, so McLaren upped their game and developed the F1 GTR into the long tail version you see here. It was actually significantly slower down Mulsanne (just under 200 miles per hour), but handled much better thanks to added downforce — that wing! — so it was faster overall.

Here, you can watch it running around one of the most daunting race tracks in the world — Spa Francorchamps in Belgium — as it actually goes toe to toe with some of the best CanAm racers. In a word: awesome.