The McLaren P1 and the Porsche 918 Spyder. Despite the very obvious talents arrayed on this peculiar little strip of Spanish tarmac, these are the two cars that drag the word ‘exceptional’ into deeper and darker linguistic territory. Hyperbole can be a dangerous thing, but in this case, it’s entirely justified. With a combined value of more than 1.5-million quid and possessed of enough horsepower to spin Europe on a pivot around central Germany, they have so much cutting-edge, hybrid technology stuffed into their actively aerodynamic fuselages - feels a bit banal to call them simply ‘bodies’ - that they leak the future from their Inconel exhausts. What we’re looking at is the distillation of the intellectual might of fast-car super boffins. Today, they face off for the first time on the same day, on the same track. To be blunt, I can feel the familiar itchy prickle of nerves.
Photography: John Wycherley and Rowan Horncastle