So, in the best tradition of Top Gear-type competition, it turns out everyone cheated, strict attention being paid to the letter if not the spirit. But immediately it’s the biker who scores some sort of moral victory by dint of modest corporate presence. In fact, nothing sums up this battle better than the amount of kit that each team brings. John McGuinness: two bikes, one van, one ‘Phil’ - a mechanic - plus a table to sit at and some rickety-looking chairs.
McLaren? Two MP4-12Cs (one road, one race), one enormous articulated lorry - which wouldn’t look out of place in an F1 paddock - full catering services, 10 team personnel, PR support, air-conditioned changing facilities, two spare sets of tyres for both wet and dry conditions. Plus The Stig, on loan for the day, squatting in some sort of cryogenic coffin in the back of the lorry.
Photography: Joe Windsor-Williams
This feature first appeared in the September 2012 issue of Top Gear magazine