Okay, so this should be easy. I’m the first journalist to drive the new McLaren 570S Sprint track day car, but it really doesn’t seem that far removed from the street version - otherwise known as our favourite car on sale.
The cabin is more bare, although the instrument pack remains the same, and there’s a thick roll cage spoiling any change of an elegant arrival in or departure from its otherwise airy interior, but in other respects it seems much the same.
It sounds the same, too, which shouldn’t be too surprising as, unlike the GT4 race car upon which it is based, it’s not limited by rules that hold back engine power to below 450bhp. It has the full 562bhp complement. But it also has race suspension, sticky race Pirelli tyres and an awfully big rear wing, all of which I calculate are going to aid my progress up the hill today.
How to play it? As ever, give it maximum attack off the line, fling it into turn one where there’s space to sort it out and judge the rest of hill accordingly. Turn chassis and powertrain to ‘Race’ and go.
It seems a little slow at first, until I figure out it’s the electronics preventing the Pirellis from turning themselves to smoke and dust. Should have turned them off. Then it lunges.
Third gear for the first turn, aim it in and it just goes. It’s wearing race rubber, but it's treaded wet weather race rubber because the slick compound is too hard for a sub-one-minute run like this. The wets are marmalade sticky and grip accordingly. Fourth gear past the house then evil old Molecomb.
I don’t know where the bumps have gone, but the McLaren sheds speed like it’s shrugging off a coat. Unlike those who make more memorable mistakes here, I arrive far too slow, get annoyed with myself and get to the flint wall and its big bump going a little too fast. McLaren suspension deals with that, too. Just the last two corners remain, tackled fast and faster, still annoyingly short of the limit.
It’s over. And for once I was right. It was easy - easier than you could possibly imagine a 562bhp quasi-racer could be up a nobleman’s front drive. And more fun even than that.