Double F1 champion Mika Häkkinen to race a McLaren again

Mika Häkkinen will find himself behind the wheel of a McLaren race car once again. The two-time Formula 1 champion is confirmed to race the Suzuka 10 Hour in Japan behind the wheel of a McLaren 720S GT3 customer race car.

The F1 champion in 1998 and 1999, who drove for McLaren, will race alongside Super Formula champion Hiroaki Ishiura and Japanese Formula 3 racer Katsuaki Kubota. All three drivers will put 720S GT3 race cars through their paces in the fourth round of the GT Challenge, though McLaren said hasn’t said who will run team in the series. Suzuka will be the debut competitive outing for the GT3-spec 720S and McLaren has high hopes for success.

McLaren 720S GT3 race car

McLaren 720S GT3 race car

The 720S GT3 made its debut last year with the same 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine the road car uses. McLaren didn’t share too many details but said the torque curve has been revised and parts had been beefed up for racing duty. Each hand-assembled race car costs a cool $565,000.

Suzuka is a familiar race track for Häkkinen. During his F1 career, he secured numerous wins at the Japanese circuit, including the years he took home the World Champion title. Just last year, the “Flying Finn” was reunited with his championship-winning McLaren F1 race car to mark the 20th anniversary of his first title win. He also drove a handful of commemorative laps at Suzuka.

Last year, Häkkinen also had the chance to slide behind the wheel of the McLaren F1 GTR that placed first in the 24 Hours of Le Mans 24 years ago this year. The video showcased how Häkkinen can still absolutely hold his own at the age of 50.

We’ll watch for Häkkinen’s performance when the race kicks off at Suzuka during the weekend of August 23-25.

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