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Under The Hood: Tips and Tricks to Driving the McLaren 720s GT3 Evo

The McLaren 720s GT3 Evo is the newest car in Assetto Corsa Competizione, and arguably the strongest. Let’s learn more about it.

One of the popular cars in Assetto Corsa Competizione now has the latest Evo package, and here is what you need to know to get the most out of it.

Introducing the McLaren 720s GT3 Evo

The McLaren 720s is the road-legal supercar and the GT3 class racing car featured in the GT World Challenge Series, IMSA, ADAC GT Masters, British GT Championship, ALMS and other championships. Although McLaren doesn’t have as many customer racing teams as Mercedes, BMW, Porsche or Ferrari, their GT3 car is recognisable and popular among sim racers and GT racing fans alike.

McLaren launched the Evo version of the 720s GT3 in February 2023 to upgrade the original car for GT3 customer racing teams. The car features multiple aerodynamic, suspension and reliability upgrades as part of this package.

The McLaren 720s GT3 Evo was added to Assetto Corsa Competizione in May 2023 for free as a part of the V1.9.3 update, a short time after the release of the all new Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2, Ferrari 296 GT3 and the Porsche 992 GT3 R cars.

Here at Coach Dave Academy, our team of professional drivers and engineers already have developed high-quality qualifying and race-trim setups for this car, all of which you can get as a part of our ACC setup subscription or as the latest setup package dedicated to the McLaren 720s GT3 Evo.

The Basic Car Characteristics

The core specification of the Evo version is the same as that of the original 720s GT3. The 720s GT3 Evo is a mid-engine car powered by a 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 engine. At 4,664 mm in length, it is one of the shortest modern GT3 cars, which helps with even weight distribution between the front and the rear axles.

The main changes of the 720s GT3 Evo are:

  • Improved aero package with more downforce relative to the 720s GT3
  • A forwards shift in the aero balance
  • Updated, more robust suspension with additional setup options for caster and dampers
  • Changed auxiliary lamp positions and the rear wing pylon mechanism.

In ACC, the 720s GT3 Evo has gotten several additional options in the setup menu to simulate these upgrades:

  • Aero setup has an adjustable front splitter with four angles of attack to fine-tune the aero balance
  • More options for the rear wing (0-12 instead of 0-8 for the original 720s GT3)
  • Electronics include a second level of traction control customisation (TC2)
  • The caster angle has an extended setup range (up to 16.3 degrees instead of 8.0 degrees)
  • The car has a larger fuel tank (120 litres instead of 109 litres). Fuel consumption remains the same
  • A few other minor changes to setup ranges of fast dampers, rear wheel rate and rear bump stop range

In addition, the changes in the simulation of suspension and dampers that are courtesy of the V1.9 update have been applied to the 720s GT3 Evo since release – as it has been to all cars currently in ACC.

  • If you need something extra to help you find your footing in the McLaren 720s GT3 Evo, make sure to check out Coach Dave Academy’s Lap Guides or Hotlaps, such as this one at ACC’s newest track, Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

Steering and Cornering

The first thing you notice when driving the 720s GT3 Evo is better performance over curbs than this car’s previous version. Although the McLaren cannot attack curbs as aggressively as front-engine cars, it has become far more forgiving and stable after the Evo upgrade.

This car excels at medium-speed and high-speed corners thanks to excellent weight distribution. But it also has two natural weaknesses in the corners that you have to address in the setup:

  • The front of the car feels lazy at the turn-in of low-speed corners.
  • The car rolls too much in the corners with quick direction changes and tends to oversteer

As a result, the best setups for the McLaren 720s GT3 Evo usually have stiff anti-roll bars and wheel rates relative to other cars. This car also relies heavily on the bump stops; one way to mitigate oversteering when the vehicle changes direction is to lower bump stop ranges, primarily at the rear and front.

After you find a decent suspension setup, start working with the dampers. After the V1.9 update, dampers have become a powerful setup tool to improve performance at the corner entry. For example, you can soften the front slow bump dampers and stiffen the front slow rebound dampers to gain grip at the turn-in.

  • To help you find the perfect balance for the McLaren 720s GT3 Evo around each track, Coach Dave Academy’s ACC Setup Subscription provides you with new setups and data packages every week.

Power Delivery and Braking

The power from a 4-litre V8 engine is delivered smoothly and complements McLaren’s strengths in medium-speed and high-speed corners. The Evo package engine produces more torque than the 720s GT3, so you may need to shift gears earlier. 

The 720s GT3 Evo also received updated engine electronics:

  • The TC1 specifies how much wheel slip is allowed before electronics restrict engine power delivery. 
  • The TC2 determines how much to cut the engine power at the slipping threshold specified by the TC1. 

As a result, you can more precisely adjust the behaviour of traction control with TC1 and TC2 settings in the setup. For example, it is possible to restrict the oversteer in specific corners with TC2 while keeping the overall impact of the traction control on acceleration minimal.

Braking performance is very similar to the 720s GT3. You may refer to the article about this car on Coach Dave Academy to get some pointers.

Aerodynamics and Bodywork

The 720s GT3 Evo has more drag than the 720s GT3 and a lower top speed than front-engine cars. Consider using less rear wing or focusing on the cornering performance to create overtaking opportunities during acceleration.

Due to a different aero package, the 720s GT3 Evo has an aero balance shifted more forward than before. With the adjustable front splitter, you can get even more bite at the front at the expense of rear stability and increased drag.

As for the ride heights, the new McLaren still prefers a lower rake to complement its high aerodynamic efficiency. You can achieve the required amount of downforce at the rear with the rear wing, which now has 13 angles of attack instead of 9 in the 720s GT3.

  • If you need more help understanding the driving style and setup required for the McLaren 720s GT3 Evo, check out one of Coach Dave Academy’s Setup Sessions.

Final Thoughts

The 720s GT3 Evo is a fast but somewhat unusual car to set up and drive compared to BMW M4 GT3, Mercedes AMG GT3 EVO, Ferrari 296 GT3 and other popular choices in ACC. You must be precise and smooth to get the most out of it because of stiff suspension and poor performance over high curbs. But when you get it right, this car is competitive and rewarding to drive, especially on Silverstone, Spa and other tracks with many medium-speed corners.

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Under The Hood: Tips and Tricks to Driving the McLaren 720s GT3 Evo
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