McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown says the Woking-based outfit's entry into top level sportscar racing is now a matter of 'when' rather than 'if'.
Under Brown's guidance in the past several years, McLaren has branched out into other categories of racing.
While Formula 1 remains team papaya's main field of expertise and priority, McLaren also enjoys fields a works outfit in the NTT IndyCar Series, in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship and in the off-road all-electric Extreme E series.
Top level sportscar racing isn't an area typically associated with McLaren and yet its outstanding sporting legacy includes a win at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1995 with its iconic McLaren F1 GTR.
Brown has been attentive to the success garnered by the WEC and IMSA which have attracted a plethora of manufacturers - including Porsche, Ferrari, Peugeot, BMW and Lamborghini - thanks to a combination of low costs and a harmonization of the regulations on both sides of the Atlantic with the advent of the LMH and LMDh classes.
The McLaren boss is therefore determined to put a McLaren sportscar programme on its rails at some point in the future.
"I really would like to get McLaren into top level sportscar racing," Brown told RACER's Marshall Pruett on the latter's podcast. "I think we need to be there. I think it fits with our brand.
"I need to make sure that when – which is what I like to say versus ‘if’ we get involved – we need to be able to do it right and have everything else that we’re doing in a really good spot."
A McLaren Hypercar or LMDh contender is unlikely to grace the grid at Le Mans in the near term. But the time to decide the activation of a sportscar programme is fast approaching.
"I think it’s a few years away," Brown added. "We need to make a decision soon because we now know what we need to know in order to make a decision.
"It’s really dependent upon what else is going on in McLaren’s world as to the best time to enter."