I’d imagine that one or two of you may be wondering why the 911 GT3 RS has now officially been declared Britain's Best Driver’s Car, despite being beaten – on lap time at least – by both the Ferrari 458 and the Noble M600.
The answer is fairly straightforward; although it was fractionally slower against the stopwatch around Donington – and when I say fractionally I mean tenths, not even seconds – there wasn’t one single tester who subjectively preferred the Ferrari over the Porsche. And although one or two of our more ambitious staff thought the Noble got far closer to the GT3 RS overall, in the end even they admitted that the mighty M600 couldn’t match the 911’s extraordinary depth of appeal.
So what is it about the current GT3 RS that’s so special? For starters, it just handles so beautifully around a circuit like Donington. It feels balanced and pure in its responses where other cars, even the 458, feel edgy – as if they may simply let go and spin through corners in which the GT3 RS remains glued.
It also has exquisite steering and brakes, plus a lack of inertia when changing direction that enables it to be driven harder, with more confidence, than any other car we invited to Donington.
It also feels 100 per cent bullet-proof. Its brakes simply don’t fade at all, even when subjected to lap after lap of abuse. Its manual gearbox may not be a match for the robotized dual-clutch affairs of some rivals but, again, it felt as sweet on lap 100 as it did after lap one.
And then, of course, there is its engine; its turbine smooth, sweet sounding, thumpingly powerful flat-six engine whose throttle response is as crisp as freshly laid snow, and whose power delivery is so strong it actually takes a while to get used to during the first few laps.
Finally, don’t think of the GT3 RS as being little more than a thinly disguised racing car that just so happens to wear a set of number plates and a tax disc. Perhaps the most extraordinary thing of all about this car is that it can be used every day on the road as well.
Its ride is firm but no more so than that of a Ford Focus RS. And its interior, though somewhat sparse compared with “normal” interiors, is in fact a rather wonderful place to spend time in once you get used to it. You could easily drive the GT3 RS to the south of France in a day, for example.
But the best place to drive it is on a track. Flat out, on the edge, balls to the wall. That’s where this car reaches it zenith. And that’s when it becomes untouchable – even by cars as brilliant as the Ferrari 458 and Noble M600. Which, believe me, is saying something.