To coincide with the launch of the Pure McLaren owner's experience, McLaren UK brought chief test driver Chris Goodwin to SA in an effort to try set a new track record for a production car.
McLaren P1 lap timeThe current record was held also by a McLaren, the MP4-12C, at 1min 48. The P1 is significantly faster than both the 650S and the MP4-12C and everyone just had the feeling that record was going to come tumbling down. It was just a question of how much the gap would be.
The McLaren P1 uses a similar engine to the MP4-12C. While both engines are identical in size at 3.8-litres, the P1 uses an electric motor with an F1-style Kinetic Energy Recovery System to give it a combined output of 674 kW - substantially more than the MP4-12C. Given the massive power advantage and clever aerodynamics, the P1 slipped over the line in 1min 45 - three seconds faster than the normal car.
Could it have gone faster? Probably. The weather wasn't perfect and the car was on road tyres. A set of slick race tyres and I rate the P1 could dip under 1min 40...
As for the day itself, it was a chance for Gauteng-based McLaren owners to really experience their machines under the guidance of professional drivers. It was exciting to finally get some face time with the McLaren P1, but as cool as it is, the McLaren F1 from the early 1990s stole the show when it pulled in.