There are occasional track days when some people don’t give way to those who clearly deserve to run ahead. The governing bodies try to filter the fast from the slow, but introducing lots of horsepower, conceit, and a narrow track can complicate things further. In these cases, a quick lap can easily be ruined by an oblivious driver in a faster car.
Such was the case when an owner of a Cayman GT4 decided to try his hand at the daunting Sonoma Raceway, and had his hot lap interrupted by an overly ambitious McLaren owner.
The man in the Macca lets two GT3s by as the video begins, but—almost reluctantly—he shuts the door on our camera car heading into Sonoma’s fast esses. Passing here is a non-starter, and so our camera man backs off slightly. Understandably, the man in the orange Macca begins to charge, but his hesitation at the exit of the esses suggests he’s aware of the red Cayman growing larger in his—admittedly tiny—rear window. After a shortish lift off the throttle, he decides to streak ahead to our camera man’s frustration.
How to Handle That Situation
When a chasing car is able to crowd someone’s rear-view mirror repeatedly, the man ahead ought to lift briefly, give the appropriate point-by according to the rules, and allow the car behind to pass. Between similar machinery, this usually happens effortlessly. However, the horsepower disparity between these two adds another level of complexity. This squabble could’ve been avoided if the McLaren’s driver had a better sense of spacial awareness when heading towards Turn 11 (0:31). His exit speed wasn’t great, the track was at its widest, and he couldn’t have been completely oblivious to the Cayman running alongside. But, the 675LT’s twin-turbo V8 trumps the incensed camera man’s talent advantage and wins the drag race to Turn 11..
Some might advocate a calmer approach, and most coaches would agree. Biding one’s time, remaining patient, and waiting for an obvious gap to open are appropriate for an HPDE, which is not a race. However, when there are open passing rules, as one can infer from the on-track behavior here, people want to make the most of their time on track. Hence our camera man’s obvious—if not excessive—frustration.
After giving a one-finger salute, the 675LT showcases its incredible horsepower advantage and streaks away, yet, the Cayman’s driver closes the enormous gap in the space of just two corners. At that point, the man in the British supercar couldn’t feign ignorance, and only after the end of a irritating lap, the McLaren’s driver relents and opens the door. While it wasn’t egregiously bad behavior, it’s not a great way to make friends at an HPDE, which is supposed to have a relaxed atmosphere. In situations like these, it’s wise to remember: nobody wins practice.