Morning with a McLaren F1 GTR
Saturday, 25 June 2022, three randomly chosen winners of our Ultimate McLaren F1 GTR Prize Draw were invited to spend a morning at Kiklo Spaces with Chris Vassilopoulos and his F1 GTR #02R. Alan, Graham and Andy had qualified to opt into the draw by purchasing a copy of Ultimate McLaren F1 GTR – The Definitive History, so we’re sure they wouldn’t object to us calling them knowledgeable fans of these magnificent Le Mans-winning machines. As their personal feedback (below) shows, they had a fascinating and highly enjoyable experience which speaks volumes of Chris’s knowledge and hosting skills. This is what they had to say…
It’s 9am on Saturday morning. Alan, Graham and I are gathered in West Sussex, outside the gates of an architect-designed facility. We are here for a morning with a McLaren F1 GTR, which is about all we know. Our host, Chris, arrives and we enter a spacious lounge area. No sign of the F1 yet. The morning begins with a chat about cars (what else?). Then we move into a side room, where Chris starts to show us the history files he has accumulated for Chassis 02R. Wow! So much to take in, but original letters charting the beginnings of the GTR project stand out. A walk through one of the car storage areas is off limits for discussion here, so on to the main event. Chassis 002R in 1995 Suzuka 1000km Ueno Clinic livery, its 1995 Gulf livery panels cleverly displayed alongside. Around the room are trophies won during the 1995 BPR campaign, a set of original driver overalls and the Le Mans garage banner. Finally, Chris fires up the naturally aspirated BMW S70/2 V12 engine. A fantastic encounter and many thanks to all who were involved in arranging the event.
– Andy Haunton
Above: photo courtesy of Andy Haunton
Well, what a truly delightful day we had on Saturday. Chris, our host, was so gracious with his time and generosity. He treated us to breakfast, tea and coffee and gave us so much time we didn't leave until way after two o’clock. His enthusiasm and detailing with his cars is first class and it was a real treat for us all.
A big thank you to you and the team at Porter Press.
– Alan Collins
Above: Image courtesy of Alan Collins
I would like to say a big thank you to Porter Press and to Chris, our host on Saturday morning, for inviting us to look over his family’s McLaren F1. Chris was a charming host who gave us so much of his time, enthusiastically discussing the car and its history. It seemed that nothing was off-limits and the information and material he made available to us was full and frank. It was a most enjoyable way to spend a morning, and even though it fell on the FoS weekend, when I was getting car overload already, I found the whole experience fascinating and insightful. I came away wanting to read through the book again in greater detail.
– Graham Earl