The line-up for Britain’s Best Driver’s Car usually assembles itself. There’s a big name, a must-have, which everything else falls easily around.
But not this year. Not since Lamborghini declined, wisely perhaps, to allow any publication to compare a Huracán alongside any other car. So we mulled over a long list of what we thought we should gather for what we informally know as Handling Day.
Usually, we’d then cut that list down to 10 plus last year’s winner. But we realised that the 12-car list was one of the most stonkingly strong line-ups in the competition’s 25-year history, so we left it entirely as it was.
Handling Day is actually three days of testing, photography and video on the road and on a circuit. This year we based ourselves at Castle Combe, Chippenham, within easy reach of decent roads in Wiltshire and surrounding counties. And by decent, we of course mean poorly surfaced and badly cambered as only the finest British roads can be.
The track itself? It has been developed from the perimeter road of a wartime airbase so is fast and mostly right-handed, with a few chicanes to provide a fine test of traction and braking stability.