Claire Kirkpatrick, MSUK’s head of club development, revealed that nine prominent motor clubs have already embraced the idea and more will join soon.
After lunch and lively chat, our hack contingent walked to an autosolo track that MSUK marshals had thoughtfully laid out on the old airfield’s taxiways so we could see grassroots motorsport in action. In a £1000 Mini One, healthy but absolutely nothing special, I was hurled around the course a few times by multiple autotest champion and stunt driver Alan Wakeman, whose brilliantly quick and precise performance reminded me very clearly of motorsport’s rule one: improve your skills before spending money on your car. It was an inspirational day, and you can get a flavour of it at motorsportuk.org.
It has been a few years since Autocar’s resident car designer, Ben Summerell-Youde, cooked up a concept for a McLaren SUV and put it on this very page. At the time, we were trying to be ironic: everyone else in the supercar patch was working on (or already making big money from) SUVs, but McLaren was busy expanding its two-door range and officially eschewed the whole suggestion. Now the wind has changed.
McLaren is about to have a CEO who has already bred SUVs for Porsche and Ferrari. Its message is the same one that made Porsche such a modern pioneer of high performance: make a success of SUVs and you can build all the supercars your market could desire.