It soon became clear that the GT-R is so stiff that it struggles in the wet. In contrast, the 911 is easier, faster and friendlier to drive in the wet, as is the 'how long can you hold it sideways R8'.
But as the day dried, Sutcliffe went out for his laps.
The 911 was first, and surprised Steve with the amount of steering wheel movement - especially over bumps. That said, the unwanted movement at the back of the previous generation car was gone, replaced by excellent body control and huge acceleration in each gear.
The R8 was well balanced and sounded fantastic, but its poor brakes and clumsy gearchange were major issues, making it the slowest of the three despite being the purest handling.
So it was left to the GT-R to take up the challenge, and on the dry track it did just that. The nervousness gone, replaced by near-perfect body control, massive stability on turn-in, extraordinary traction on the exit of corners and huge stopping power.
Despite being the heaviest and least powerful car at the track, the GT-R felt the fastest - and so it was - though only by 0.3sec over the 911.
So which is best? In theory it's the Audi, fitted with the Nissan's gearbox and 911's brakes, priced at the GT-R's level.
That car doesn't exist, so we have to pick the next best thing - the GT-R - performance bargain of the century.
Read the full story and see more pictures in this week's Autocar magazine.
See our exclusive Nissan GT-R v Porsche 911 v Audi R8 V10 pictures
Watch the Nissan GT-R v Porsche 911 v Audi R8 V10 video
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