The McLaren Senna is a seriously impressive piece of kit and undoubtedly one of the fastest road-legal cars currently on sale. However, is it anywhere near as fast as a GT3 race car?
When looking at the Senna, it’s easy to think that it is perhaps as fast around a racetrack as many race cars. After all, it has an out-of-this-world aerodynamics package which includes a rear wing so tall it almost defies belief.
Chris Harris has quite a lot of experience in GT3 racers and wasn’t so sure the Senna could compete.
For this test, he hit the Silverstone circuit in a friend’s Senna and the McLaren 650S GT3 he raced last year. First up, it was the Senna. Anyone who had the privilege to drive one has sung the praise of Senna’s on-track abilities, and while impressed with how fast it is, Harris was surprised by how much understeer it displayed through some high-speed corners. He was instantly very confident that it wouldn’t be as fast as the 650S GT3. And he was right.
Buckled into the legit racer, Harris lapped the circuit in 2:02.687 – a time he concedes isn’t that great for a car of this caliber. Even so, the Senna recorded a best time of 2:09.277, almost a full seven seconds slower than the GT3.
That’s even more impressive when one takes into account that, due to race regulations, the 650S GT3 only has about 500 hp, or almost 300 hp less than the Senna. The results just go to show that horsepower isn’t king when it comes to creating a car that laps racetracks at frightening speeds – and, of course, that the “race car for the road” tag is merely a marketing trick, simply because the two are totally different beasts designed to perform at different environments.