evo Track Car of the Year - every on board video
Every fast lap posted by Marino Franchitti at our 2014 Track Car of the Year
You asked and we delivered, below is the complete set of on board videos from our 2014 Track Car of the Year test.
Each lap was set by 12 hours of Sebring winner Marino Franchitti in cars ranging from a Caterham 160 all the way up to a race-ready McLaren.
Below, in no particular order, we present them to you in full length.
This is Radical’s latest RXC. Gone is the old car’s brawny Mustang-sourced V6, replaced by a new twin-turbocharged unit. With just 940kg to propel, the car produces a massive 491bhp per ton.
‘It’s got a lot of potential, but it’s just slightly underdeveloped as it stands right now’, explains Marino Franchitti. But when the stopwatch does the talking, the RXC punches well above its weight.
Porsche 911 GT3
The 991-generation Porsche 911 GT3 includes four-wheel steering and a PDK gearbox. Marino concludes that these technological advancements benefit the driving experience; while the high-revving 3.8-litre naturally aspirated flat-six engine doesn’t hurt either.
And as the on-board video shows, the latest GT3 blurs the lines between road going sports car and out-and-out track weapon more than ever.
Nissan GT-R Nismo
With 591bhp, 481lb ft and a massive carbon rear wing, the GT-R Nismo puts its rear-biased four-wheel drive system to good use around the bumpy Blyton Park circuit.
Though it angles its attack very differently, Marino concedes that it has some similarities with the Porsche: ‘Like the GT3, you can drive it on the street, you can drive it to the track, and then you can get on track and thrash it.’
McLaren 650S GT3
The track-only 650S was the fastest car at our latest eTcoty, taking only 55.8sec to lap Blyton Park with its 493bhp and ‘perfectly-sized' steering wheel, at least in the hands of Marino Franchitti.
‘The few laps I did I was just blown away by it. It was no surprise to me that when I got out of it, we’d done the fastest lap.’
Based on the 1960s Lola T70 Le Mans racer, the Broadley T76 is easily the loudest contestant in our latest eTcoty. It offers period-correct bodywork and a cabin flooded with a torquey V8 roar, making for a seriously physical experience.
Endurance racer Marino Franchitti enjoyed wrestling the reincarnated classic around Blyton Park. He said: ‘The Broadley is exactly as the T70 was originally, so you’re getting that pure experience.’
Caterham Seven 160
‘The balance was lovely, the chassis was on its toes and very predictable. I could just play with the throttle and the brake,’ a surprised Marino comments. ‘But the gearbox was just God awful.’
It might not be Marino’s perfect track-drive, but the Caterham still posts a respectable 1min 17.6sec time around Blyton, confirming the affordable Caterham offers plenty of thrills for very little money.
Renaultsport Clio Cup
Renault’s touring car stepping-stone is immensely chuckable, but a high centre of gravity means the driving experience suffers after a point.
‘It almost feels like a rally car in tarmac spec, rather than a pure racer’, says Marino. Still, it’s just 9sec slower than the winning car, but less than one-tenth of the price.
McLaren 650S Sprint
Setting the second-fastest lap time around Blyton, the 650S Sprint is not encumbered with the engine restrictors fitted to its bigger brother, the 650S GT3.
With close to 100bhp more available, it’s just the Sprint’s lack of aero-grip that hampers its chances. ‘It’s very intuitive to just go out and drive fast. It’s an incredible car and a very good step on the way to the GT3,’ explains Marino.
Renault Megane Trophy
The hardcore French hatch understeered out of faster-paced corners, only really impressing Marino at lower speeds.
‘But in the medium and slow speed corners, the chassis worked so well you could really brake hard and deep into the corner. The car would rotate really well.’
BBR Mazda MX-5 GT270
It’s a bold statement, but in many ways the BBR MX-5 shares philosophy with the Caterham. BBR’s work further stretches the MX-5’s balance of grip and power, and the result is a serious drivers’ car.
The BBR's turbocharged 2-litre produces 268bhp, up from the standard car’s naturally aspirated 158bhp. Its results impress Marino: ‘Straight away I felt in-tune with the car and chassis; I could place the car exactly where I wanted it.’
Ariel Atom 3.5R
Proof that out-and-out speed ranks lower than pure driving enjoyment in eTcoty, the fourth fastest car of the day was in fact our favourite. It lapped Blyton Park some 3.1sec slower than the 650S GT3, but as Marino admits, nothing was more involving.
'You can make it do anything. It'll understeer, it'll oversteer; it looks quite dramatic, but it's channeling what's happening at all times, so there's no problem. It's every other car that's there, but none of them are this raw.'
Track Car of the Year
Watch our full length eTcoty video below to see all of the above cars go head-to-head.