Ex-Formula 1 world champion Mika Hakkinen is set to jump behind the wheel of the wild 1970 McLaren M8D Can-Am ‘Batmobile’ during the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion on August 15-18 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
The car was raced by American Ran Gurney and British Formula 1 driver Peter Gethin in the 1970 Can-Am championship. After three race victories and a slew of podium finishes during its maiden racing season, the car was passed into privateer hands from 1972 to 1974.
Bruce McLaren first developed the M8A race car for the 1968 Can-Am season. It was updated for the 1969, 1970, and 1971 years, renamed the M8B, M8D, and M8F respectively, while the M8C and M8E were customer cars. The M8 family of Can-Am race cars won four consecutive Can-Am titles before the Porsche 917 was launched.
Also Watch: Le Mans-Winning McLaren F1 GTR Driven By Mika Hakkinen At Laguna Seca
Power comes a Chevrolet V8 engine displacing 7.6-liters and producing 670 hp at 6800 rpm and 600 lb-ft (810 Nm) of torque funneled through the rear wheels. The car is also painted in Papaya Orange and promises to be a fan favorite at Laguna Seca.
Hakkinen has driven at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion in the past and last year, drove a McLaren F1 GTR at the circuit, while in 2017, he piloted an M23 F1 car.
“This track is fun, really enjoyable,” Hakkinen said. “The track goes up and down, and some of the corners have great camber. It looks tighter than it is from a distance, so you need a lot of guts to brake later and take the right line.”