From the printed issue of the magazine, here is the track test report. I haven't been through the rest of the article to comment it, but overall, this seems to be a very positive review !
When we made the call to tell Deon Joubert that local agents Daytona had iven the McLaren the green light for Killarney track testing, he was - shall we say - stunned.
"It's a rare privilege," he said. "It's like my birthday and Christmas rolled into one." Having studied a number of overseas track evaluations, Deon had some concerns. With the ESP in track mode, the MP4-12C will allow a lot of sliding before intervening, but it will nevertheless intervene.
ANd it has been speculated that, should the intervention occur at the same time that the driver tries to catch a slide, the two actions could conflict and result in a spin - which happened on several overseas tests with very experienced drivers behind the wheel. So, we asked the car's local distributors for the secret procedure to completly disengage the car's electronic nanny.
Operating without a safety net appeared to work fantastically from the outset. Even on the first of the two hot laps, Deon had already surpassed our previous track champion's lap time. On lap two, he then went even faster. No fuss. No frills. And importantly, no spills.
But what did he think of it? "I'm not sure," he said after exiting the car. "It is bloody fast, but there's some lag and I don't like the sound," he suggested, tugging at his beard. "Like most of the new turbocharged cars, you have to shift into the boost, rather than rev it, which I don't like very much. There's also a lightness to the steering that I have to get used to. Overall, it is quite a tricky car to gel with, but you can feel there's a lot to come out of it."
He then did a few more laps for filming purposes, got out of the car and appeared for more impressed.
"The more I drive it, the more I like it. It's a bit like the BMW M5 in the sense that there's so much more it could offer a driver should that person have the talent and the time. And it feels like it can do laps all day. The brakes are still strong and the tyres look still good, which of course is because the car is so light. A Nissan GT-R would be very, very far behind after 10 or so laps, I think. And these standard tyres squeal quite a bit, so with proper rubber the gap to the GT-R will be even bigger. It will take something special to dethrone this car."
Killarney top five
1. McLaren MP4-12C 1:19,01
2. Nissan R35 GT-R (2011) 1:19,79
3. Audi R8 V10 1:20,26
4. Nissan R35 GT-R (2009) 1:20,29
5. Lamborghini Gallardo Supperleggera (2008) 1:20,58
Flying lap video here.