Behind the Scenes of the 2012 Best Driver’s Car Competition on Wide Open Throttle
This week on Wide Open Throttle, host Jessi Lang takes us to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for a behind-the-scenes look at our 2012 Best Driver’s Car program, and a sneak peek at what you can expect to see starting Monday, August 20 during Best Driver’s Car Week.
First Motor Trend staffers explain what Best Driver’s Car is. As editor-at-large Angus Mackenzie puts it, “It’s not about raw numbers…because if it was a top fuel dragster would be the Best Driver’s Car.” Instead the competition is about finding the car that drivers can best take to the limit of their abilities, and the limits of the car as well. This opens up Best Driver’s Car to a pretty wide range of cars – from the $26,000 200-hp Subaru BRZ, all the way up to the nearly $400,000 691-hp Lamborghini Aventador.
Lang then hands things off to senior features editor Jonny Lieberman, who says the biggest challenge is getting everyone to say “yes.” That means getting contenders like Lamborghini and McLaren, as well as more mainstream automakers like Ford and Chevy to agree to send us their MP4-12Cs and GT500s for a week of on- and off-track testing, at the hands of multiple drivers. Some automakers we invited this year couldn’t make it at all. For example we invited the Ferrari 458 Italia back this year to defend its title but none were available. Same story with vehicles like the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, the new Porsche Boxster, and the new SRT Viper, among others.
Best Driver’s Car Week kicks off on August 20 with three hot laps of three contenders at Laguna Seca, along with a companion story containing driver Randy Pobst’s notes on each car. The remaining six contenders will be lapped Tuesday and Wednesday, and the winner will be unveiled on Thursday. The icing on the cake will be our follow-up to last year’s “World’s Greatest Drag Race” on Friday. For now, check out the behind-the-scenes look at the 2012 Best Driver’s Car competition below.