Weekend Watch: McLaren F1 GTR battles Porsche GT1 911

A BMW-developed 6.0-litre V12, central seating position and top speed a smidge under 400km/h made the McLaren F1 a ferocious road car. However such pedigree ensured it was even better as a race car.

With McLaren’s new 650S Le Mans edition and the soon-to-be-unleashed P1 GTR channelling McLaren F1 GTR’s Le Mans winning heritage, we’ve been binging online videos that feature the legendary race car doing what it does best.

Of the many we’ve watched, simply too good not to share is footage of the F1 GTR in a dogfight with its nemesis, the Porsche 911 GT1, during the 1996 Le Mans 24 Hour. It’s aural and visual race car nirvana.

Shrieks from the Team Bigazzi McLaren F1 GTR’s V12 are punctuated by flames spat by the Porsche GT1’s 3.2-litre flat six on upshifts; all the while Steve Soper (McLaren) and Yannick Dalmas (Porsche) swap track position in gladiatorial fashion.

Legendary cars, fantastic racing, awesome cinema; the only thing disappointing about this video is its brevity.

So rather than leave you teased and unsatisfied, we’ve included links to more clips that relive the McLaren F1 GTR. See below.

Raw on-board: Shrieking F1 GTR on track with BMWs

How to lap Le Mans like a pro: Andrew Gilbert-Scott on-board McLaren F1 GTR longtail

Get your free weekly report from the world of fast cars - subscribe to the MOTOR newsletter!