11 Jul 2019
High-end trackday specials are becoming more and more popular these days – there are even companies like Brabham (above) which makes a business out of just making track-only cars.
Unfortunately, they’re built in tiny numbers, and are often only offered to those who already own the cars on which they’re based, meaning us peasants rarely get to see them. Thankfully, events like the Goodwood Festival of Speed exist, giving us ordinary folk the chance to see these extraordinary machines up close.
Here are my five favourite track-only cars that got a run up the famous Goodwood hill last week.
The Ferrari P90/C is the result of five years of work behind closed doors for one of the Prancing Horse’s well-heeled clients – that’s a longer gestation period than any other Ferrari one-off to-date.
The carbon fibre bodywork, littered with louvres and intakes draws inspiration from the Ferrari GT racers of old, but underneath it has the underpinnings of the present-day 488 GT racing car.
It’s thought to have gone to a collector in Japan, meaning its cameo on UK shores may very much be the only time we get to see it.
Another one-off, this time from the boys down the road at Lamborghini. the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed marked the first time the SC18 Alston was seen in public.
The Aventador SVJ-based machine was developed by Lamborghini Squadra Corse, the company’s racing arm, and shares certain components with the Huracan GT3 racer as well as design elements with the ultra-rare Centenario.
Power comes from the Aventador’s 6.5-litre V12 engine which delivers 759bhp and one heck of a howl. The engine is mated to an old-school single-clutch sequential transmission, which delivers power to all four wheels, although mostly to the rear wheels. 0-62 mph is handled in a physics-defying 2.8 seconds, while the top speed is a rather brisk 210 mph.
We’ve seen the 911 GT2-based 935 ‘Moby Dick’ on UK shores before, earlier this year in fact at the Autosport International show, but this was the first time it has run in public.
The car is inspired by the iconic 935/78 racer of the ’70s, but has had a thoroughly modern refresh. There’s lights fromt he all-conquering 919 Hybrid Le Mans Prototype, and a few other bits borrowed from the company’s GT racers. Under the retro skin is the same 691 bhp six-pot from the 991 GT2 RS road car, and a seven-speed PDK transmission.
Only 77 are being built and each has already been sold, naturally.
The McLaren Senna is already a hypercar intended for track use, the GTR version just enhances every single element of the already bonkers machine.
Costing around a million pounds, the Senna GTR has the same 4.0-litre V8 as every other McLaren Automotive creation, but this time turning out 813 bhp – up from the 789 bhp of the Senna road car. It also has suspension derived from McLaren’s customer GT racing programmes.
What’s more, all of that mental bodywork serves a purpose, producing around 1,000 kg of downforce to keep the car glued to the track.
Only 75 are set to be built, and as is becoming a trend here, every single one is spoken for.
A million pounds for a Ford? Yes, really. The GT Mk. II track car is Ford’s way of celebrating the end of its successful return to international sports car racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
It may look like the GTE racer, but it’s definitely a different beast. It has 200 bhp more on tap from its 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6, but is slower overall thanks to it having as much as 400 percent more downforce. The changes are because Ford and its racing partner Multimatic not needing to adhere to strict rules and regulations.
Only 45 are coming, and there’s no word on whether or not they’ve all found homes yet. However, given the intense vetting process customers went through to get their hands on the road car its based on, it wouldn’t be a surprise if getting a GT Mk. II turned out to be an impossible task. No chance of me upgrading my recent Blue Oval order for one of these then…