Supercar gallery: behind the scenes of McLaren test | CAR Magazine

Supercar gallery: behind the scenes of our McLaren MP4-12C group test

Published: 29 June 2011 Updated: 26 January 2015

In the July 2011 issue of CAR Magazine, we simply had to find out how good the new McLaren MP4-12C is. So we pit it against the Ferrari 458 Italia, Porsche 911 GT2 RS, the Lambo Performante, Audi’s R8 V10 and the Merc SLS AMG. It was an epic two days – on road and track. Don’t miss the amazing 20-page story in the July issue, on sale now. Click here for a free digital preview and enjoy a quick look behind the scenes in our supercar gallery below.

Day 1: Rockingham circuit, Northamptonshire

Being a CAR journalist isn’t all glamour, you know. We have to clean the cars too. Former Stig Ben Collins (left) and editor Phil McNamara (middle) watch as Greg Fountain polishes the Ferrari 458 Italia’s windscreen.

Rockingham race track in Corby. More car cleaning as we prepare to time six supercars against the clock.

CAR Magazine’s road test editor Ben Barry and Ben Collins look forward to driving the McLaren MP4-12C.

Vbox timing and video equipment gets set up ready to time and film hot laps. Watch the videos on track here.

Ben Collins poses for the paps. No more white lids here.

Supercar behind the scenes pictures

The men who make CAR Magazine look great: graphic designers/colouring in specialists Andy Franklin (left) and Alex Tapley. Note facial hair compulsory on the art desk

Lining up for photographs. The SLS is ahead by a nose.

That’s what a McLaren tool kit looks like. Impressive bit of kit! Sadly called into action soon after this photo was taken…


Ben Barry takes notes after driving the McLaren MP4-12C on track.


Uh-oh. It’s not all plain sailing in the McLaren camp as the MP4-12C has to come in moments after its hot laps. A puff of smoke and wobbly handling indicate all is not well with the 12C’s suspension. 

Four wheels always better than two around these parts.

Ben Barry has some fun, this way…

…and that way

The results are in…. the CAR team gathers around while Ben Barry reveals to Ben Collins how fast his timed laps were in each supercar. Ferrari 458 first, followed by Porsche GT2 RS, McLaren MP4-12C, Lamborghini Gallardo Performante, Audi R8 V10 and Merc SLS.


Day 2: McLaren MP4-12C and five supercars head to Wales


‘Let’s find the wiggliest bit of tarmac on the map and head there…’ 

 ‘The button, Ben, press the button! Call yourself a car journo!’ Georg Kacher leans on a quarter century of experience writing about cars to instruct Ben Pulman in the Lambo Performante. 

Turns out Kacher is merely trying to remove some bird poo from the Gallardo’s screen. Onlooking Pulman tries out his latest dance moves.

Hmmm. I wonder why a mobile speed camera van was dispatched to watch as CAR test six of the fastest supercars on the planet.

‘Yes officer, I have my driving licence…’

Numerous visits to the petrol station required. We qualified for a lifetime’s supply of AA road maps, seven cuddly teddies and a trip to the North Sea oil reserves after 48 hours in this lot.

 Doubly expensive when you remember these cars sup from the 98 pump.

Breathe in! Welsh roads call for the occasional avoidance manoeuvre.

Three of CAR’s Bens: that’s Pulman (left), Whitworth (second right) and Barry (far right). Associate editor Tim Pollard watches Pulman’s next dance steps.

We should have started charging £1 for each pose.

The CAR team in a layby in Snowdonia. A few days lasered into our collective memories.

Dinner is served. Your waiter this evening will be the loud and broody Lamborghini Performante Spyder.

Look it’s me – a framed photograph of the CAR team in our favourite Chinese restaurant in Betws-y-Coed. Surreal, but true.



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