We've got just three cars left - a shame, perhaps, because, as Cackett has just said, it feels pretty tragic to leave the Cayman GT4 behind, in any company.
And where we’re going – to the sometimes thin and bumpy, sometimes broader and flatter roads of the Yorkshire and Lancashire Dales – I suspect it would have performed rather well.
But in the end, it was the compelling nature of the Ariel Nomad (“terrific fun,” said Frankel), Porsche 911 GT3 RS (“utterly dominated on circuit,” said Saunders) and Ferrari 488 GTB (“a ruddy joy,” said Cackett) that got them through what would be a crucial cut.
These three were separated by the finest of margins at Snetterton: the Nomad and 488 GTB finished there with 10 points apiece, the GT3 RS a single point behind them. It was just too close an order for our consciences to bear without giving them some extra time, some extra miles. We really would need this two-day jaunt, away from it all, to separate them properly. We could take our experiences with us, but not the scores, and when we ran out of time, we’d agree on a winner. In other words, any of the three would be in with a shout.
They’re a compelling trio. They’re certainly not three you’d put alongside each other in a conventional group test, because they don’t do the same thing. They’d make a brilliant three-car fun garage on their own, if you were lucky enough.
The GT3 RS was a point behind but in Norfolk had been doing what GT3 RSs do best: kicking everything’s backside on a race track. “It utterly dominated [at Snetterton],” said Saunders. “It does everything so well on circuit and reminds you why 911s make such fabulous track cars.” Frankel agreed. “Get it right and it’s awesome,” he said, but all of us noted that the RS variant of the GT3 range perhaps wasn’t as forgiving as the regular GT3, which strolled off with this gong the last time we held this competition in East Anglia. “Amazing powertrain and old-school balance,” said Cackett. “Less forgiving than the non-RS, but mega.” Would that count against it on the road, rather than on track, in the Dales? It might.