When we film our various ‘chase’ videos, there’s a certain protocol we like to abide by. The reason we do so is to make sure that the final published video is, where possible, an accurate reflection of the actual truth. So before we set the cameras rolling, we take to whatever track we’re filming on with the two cars in question and find out if car A can genuinely keep up with car B. If so, that’s what we then film. If not, ditto.
In the case of the GT3 RS v McLaren video, however, things were a little bit different – because what happened was not especially easy to reflect on film. And what happened was this.
We took to the circuit in each car, me driving the Porsche and a highly reputable employee from McLaren driving the MP4-12C, and after several laps it became apparent that the Porsche could live with the McLaren. Just.
Along the straights the 12C would pull away but under brakes the situation was reversed, and through most corners they were surprisingly well matched. So although the 12C would pull out gaps in certain places around the lap, the GT3 would close back up in others, the overall result being that as they crossed the line there was virtually nothing in it.
So then we started filming. And then Christopher Goodwin from McLaren turned up and asked if he might have a go in the 12C, just to make sure that what we were filming was a true and accurate reflection of the truth. Which is when it got complicated. Because with Goodwin at the wheel, the McLaren was clearly the quicker car.
I could still claw some ground back under brakes (that’s the difference in their kerb weights in a nutshell). The Porsche was also a teensy bit more sorted through a couple of the quicker corners out at the back of the circuit. But everywhere else around the lap – and with Goodwin at its helm – the MP4 12C was that little bit quicker. To the tune of about one full second around an overall 80sec lap.
So then we had to start filming all over again – to reflect the fact that, ultimately, the McLaren was the faster of the two. Which was a fair enough outcome overall.
But it did prove one point rather well; that even with someone who knows what they’re doing behind the wheel (ie driver A but not Chris Goodwin), a car like the 12C is difficult to get the last 10 per cent out of. Only with a properly quick madman at the controls (ie Goodwin) does it give of its absolute best, in fact, which means that most of the time a reasonably well driven GT3 RS can live with it – because it’s simply easier to get more out of than the McLaren. Quite what relevance any of this has to real world of motoring is another issue entirely, mind you…