Speed Week: the Brits fly south
Tom Ford leads the British group to France, with a pit stop at Le Mans
Posted: 16 Aug 2013
Minutes later, there's a gruff swoosh and a dark grey, red-striped Mini John Cooper Works GP II cannons around the corner, squat and square, filled with camera kit. The lack of back seats - replaced by a strut brace that bisects the rear cabin - have allowed it to be transformed into an impromptu van for senior road test editor Piers Ward picking up photographer Justin Leighton early this morning. This is one very special Mini - it's lighter, faster and packed with a full 215bhp's worth of JCW goodness. A friendly car with a pleasingly surprising set of teeth, adjustable suspension and sticky tyres. It's trailed by Dan Read in a new Porsche Cayman S (the car everyone seems to think is in with a shot at this year's title), the neat, spare, beautiful shape only slightly upset by the lemon yellow of the paintwork. If anything is in with a shout, then the Cayman must be in a box seat: mid-engined, rear-wheel drive, compact and the kind of balance and delicacy the opposition can only dream of. The fact that it also has a 325bhp boxer engine and involving manual 'box only adds to the suspicion that this might well be the one to watch over the next few days.