7 November 2013
Feature

We took a McLaren 12C to Rockingham Motor Speedway to face its toughest challenge yet. Could it outpace a Honda Civic BTCC racer driven by former champion Gordon Shedden and the pairing of 2013 British Superbike champion Alex Lowes and his Samsung Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade?

Which would set the fastest lap? Would the Civic's superior grip make up for the power deficit? Would the McLaren be too much to match on the straight? Or would the 'Blade offer a blend of light weight and high performance impossible to match? Steve Sutcliffe referees.

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Comments
8

7 November 2013
There's only 7 seconds between the fastest and slowest lap times. I doubt anyone really cares about such an insignificant amount! Talk about over dramatising things...

7 November 2013
As an exercise it showed quite a lot,it was informative,and it showed the McLaren in a good light,it wasn't that far behind the track machinery.As for Dark Isle's it was only seven seconds,try while driving at 60mph counting to 7,see how far that is!

Peter Cavellini.

7 November 2013
Having read Autocar for a number of years I know Sutcliffe is handy behind the wheel, but how much of the 4.7 seconds difference between the cars was down to drivers? Did Shedden get to lap the McLaren too to see the benchmark time. (apologies if this is covered in the commentary, having to watch on silent in work!)

7 November 2013
Yes, apparently Shedden did also drive the McLaren to verify its pace (see 5:50 on video). Neither driver could get anywhere near the bike. But neither car gets anywhere close to the bike's 1212bhp-per-tonne, either. That fact, coupled with the 'committed' rider (in more ways than one), meant the bike won comfortably.

7 November 2013
Bring on the rain.

7 November 2013
...proper wet tyres on the bike, same for the BTCC, I'm pretty sure the result would be more or less the same. The McLaren would be no better than the others in the rain with all those torques. 7 Seconds is a massive difference in one lap. Over a 30 lap race that would be 3 and half minutes! And that's on a tight twisty circuit like Rockingham which isn't the best place to get the most out of a bike. Enjoyed the video and wouldn't mind having any of those machines in my garage.

7 November 2013
Well nice to see the "oh no bike beats car" brigade getting on their high horses. This test is not definitive, just subjective and very good at that. Don't get me wrong I'm a biker and was duly surprised the bike won, mind you Lowes is a super rider. If you picked joe average bike rider and joe average car driver I can assure you that either car would win 99 times out of a hundred if not 100 times Bring on the rain - lol why don't you bring on the snow, then a snowmobile will win - ffs The most surprising thing for me was the BTCC car beating the Mc Claren but that's the superiority of race tyres for you

7 November 2013
Perhaps you have to be into racing to appreciate this video, which I have to honest I found incredibly tedious.

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