John McGuinness vs the McLaren MP4-12C
TT legend John McGuinness races the Stig (plus McLaren) around the Top Gear track
Posted: 25 Sep 2012
The Stig takes no prisoners, as usual. Breath is firmly bated for the results. McGuinness went round in 1min, 17.4secs; The Stig managed 1min, 13.2secs. A comprehensive win for the McLaren.
Totally different? It would seem so. But talking to John and downloading The Stig afterwards, I realise how many similarities there are between car and bike. Both are braking into the apex of the corner, rather than in a traditional straight line. Both roll onto the throttle, rather than jab at it, and both use higher gears than you'd think to maintain stability. And both super-high-performance machines are surprisingly softly suspended. Anything too stiff, and they become far too twitchy: "We run a non-pressurised front fork on the bike, because it's so lumpy on the TT course. Absorbing the bumps is key." The Stig is blank at this point, so we'll take the data-feed silence as agreement that the same is true in the McLaren, coupled with a wings-and-splitters package that isn't too peaky.