As we’ve discussed before, the vehicle performance parity in some intermediate and advanced level HPDE groups would be surprising to many.
The common expectation on the part of new and non-HPDE participants is that when a supercar shows up to the track it runs the show. But in fact, more often than not it’s the well driven, properly modified “lesser” cars that surprise.
One indelible memory is a new R8 owner unable to distance himself from a modified Dodge Neon SRT-4, and the incredulity and engine malfunction speculation that resulted from that. Indeed, it seems that for every track day there’s a bemused supercar owner.
But there are exceptions…
We’ve been asked on more than one occasion, what’s the fastest car you’ve encountered on track? We’re not ashamed to admit that we’ve been passed by more than a few, but to this day it’s an easy answer – McLaren MP4-12C.
For those unfamiliar with HPDE/track day protocol and etiquette, it’s customary for the lead car to hold, or even lift/“breathe” the throttle as the passing car makes its move.
Heading down a straight at roundabout 100 mph and accelerating we spotted a MP4-12C in our rear view, and he was clearly closing fast. Spur of the moment calculation was that we would be fine to stay full throttle while he safely completed the pass well ahead of the next brake zone and corner.
What followed was a blur of British engineering supremacy the likes of which we’d never experienced before. At well into triple digit speeds the McLaren pass was overpowering and awe-inspiring.
Can’t say that we’re particularly surprised by the result though…