Currently reading: Britain’s Best Driver’s Car - 25 years of testing in numbers
Autocar's annual handling day celebrates its 25th anniversary this week. Here's the analytical rundown, and a handful of eminently memorable moments, from previous events

A lot of cars have been tested in the 25 years of Britain’s Best Driver’s Car, ranging from the efficient Audi A2 to the quad-turbocharged Bugatti EB110. Here are the facts and figures, and most memorable moments, from past handling events.

Number of cars to attend BBDC since 1989


Most successful manufacturers

Porsche - nine wins

Lotus - four wins

Ferrari - three wins

Mazda, Honda - two wins

Lamborghini, Noble, Audi, Nissan, Toyota - one win

Notable no wins - BMW, Mercedes and Jaguar, all of which have yet even to get a car into the top three

Most powerful participant

Ferrari F12 (730bhp)

Least powerful participant

Audi A2 1.4 (75bhp)

Winning cars by engine location

Front engine - 8 wins

Mid engine - 12 wins

Rear engine - 5 wins (all 911s)

Front, rear or all-wheel drive? 

Front drive - 0 wins. Best result: Ford Focus RS with 3rd in 2002. 

Rear drive - 21 wins

Four-wheel drive - 4 wins. In 2008, 1st, 2nd and 3rd went to 4WD cars.

Natural aspiration or forced induction? 

Natural aspiration by 21 wins to four

Open or closed bodywork?

Closed, by 21 wins to four

The perfect formula?

A closed, mid-engined, rear drive, naturally aspirated Porsche. Or, put another way, a Cayman.

Most popular locations (not including 2014)

Five visits - Goodwood

Four visits - Rockingham


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Three visits - Castle Combe and Bedford Autodrome

Two visits - Croft, Silverstone, Oulton Park

One visit - Brands Hatch, Donington, Snetterton, Mireval

Star guests

Derek Warwick, Jonathan Palmer, Takumo Sato, Jason Plato, John Miles, Tiff Needell, Justin Wilson, Jay Kay, Anthony Reid, Andy Priaulx

They got invited how?

Audi A2, BMW Z3 1.9, Peugeot 406 Coupe, Peugeot 407 2.2, Fiat Punto HGT, VW Bora V6, Alfa Romeo 156GTA

Biggest off award

Ferrari 328GTB at Quarry bend in 1989. Tricky car, tricky corner. Result: to date the only car to be written off at BBDC

There but for the grace of God award

To the tester who spun a Bugatti EB110GT at 150mph through Fordwater at Goodwood. Broke record set by John Surtees in an F1 car for the longest set of skid marks ever laid at Goodwood. Hit nothing.

The Red faced award

To the driver who crashed the Ford GT at Rockingham. If a car’s going to get damaged, it really should be done by one of us, not a PR man from a rival manufacturer…

The WTF award for the weirdest car/car name ever to attend BBDC

Honourable mention - Ruf CTR2

Runaway winner - Tommy Kaira ZZ

Practicality award

Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Estate. Nothing else got close

Read the Britain’s Best Driver’s Car 25th anniversary special

Britain's Britain’s Best Driver’s Car - 25 years of memories

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Add a comment…
Gompo 9 October 2014

Focus RS higher than DC2 etc?

Surprised that the highest FWD was the Focus, not either the DC2 Integra, Clio or Megane Cup/Trophy/Whatever.

Perhaps the years in which they competed were 'stronger' in terms of RWD opposition?