“I did it for photography of course,” laughs Nathan Ponchard, one of our six resident PCC 2011 judges. He’d been heading into Honda corner and decided, at Brunelli’s request, to drift the BMW 1-Series M Coupe. He ended up going right around leaving a trail of smoke.
The gods have turned Phillip Island from a wet, miserable place barely suitable for photographs to a glorious playground for our judges. Yet Ponchard wasn’t the first to spin – Curt Dupriez won that contest, and in the Cayman R, no less.
“It was just sliding nicely, then hit 45 degrees, 60 degrees…” It was graceful at least, unlike the snarling soundtrack the trio of Benzes have been pumping out since the track work began at noon. They’ve been the most vocal of the bunch, but there are a few surprises, including our Bang for Your Bucks 2011 champion, the VW Polo GTI. For the junior hatch to raise even a mention in this company says it all.
Luffy’s yet to take the SLS for its timed lap, so it’s all to play for as we churn through the entire PCC 2011 field, with the Nissan GT-R – updated since its tie with the R8 V10 Coupe back in 2009 – looking and feeling particularly sharp. The SLS’s $30K optional brakes have also raised eyebrows, while the rag-top BMW 650i seems more at home on the boulevard. Then there’s tomorrow’s road loop to sort out which cars are genuinely capable on road and track and those that can only muster a single trick.
We’ve been strapping cameras to the cars as they lap Phillip Island, so keep an eye on this site as we add footage as well as facebook.com/motormag and on twitter @MOTOR_MAG