Video: Fearsome Lap in P1 GTR at Laguna Seca!

There aren’t many McLaren P1 GTRs in the world — only 35 — and all of them will see the track, and the track only. This is a good thing, because with 986 horsepower, reduced weight, 800 pounds of downforce from the rear wing alone, and super sticky tires, the P1 GTR could never have half of its potential exploited on the road. Anything with the ability to reach felony speeds in three seconds has no place on the public highway.

For comparison, a Porsche GT3 Cup driven by a professional will reach somewhere around 120 mph by the start-finish line, whereas this trackday machine driven by a talented amateur breezes past 150 mph and could likely find another few mph in the hands of a pro. Those speeds can’t be met by most prototype racers either, not just GT machines.

Thrashing a 1,000 horsepower hypercar on a sandy Laguna Seca, one would expect plenty of drama – but the McLaren is too good for that.

However, this car is far from a mere dragster. Everywhere at Laguna Seca, the wild machine builds boost instantaneously and puts that power to the ground with the sophistication and compliance of a modern race car. The constant popping and whistling of the turbos and the wastegates never accompany the sound of spinning tires or spiking revs. In reality, it appears to be one of the most competent racing machines out there.

Only on two occasions does the the rear end break away, and it does so in a very controllable, interesting and usable fashion. In fact, this manageable amount of lift-off oversteer hints at a sharp chassis balance more akin to a race car than a road car. Though few people need convincing, the pure potential of this hypercar is on plain display in this enthralling onboard footage.

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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