197km/h in the rain with zero grip! The wettest drag race in MOTOR history

Two super saloons in the sopping wet, this might be our loosest drag race yet

BMW M3 Competition v Alfa Romeo Giulia Q

Just our luck. We’d rocked up to Heathcote’s drag strip with a flock of fast metal, and there were centimeters of standing water on the venue’s newly-resurfaced start line.

A quick test run by fearless Editor Enright had the Alfa Romeo Giuia Q reduced to a crawl while its rear wheels spun into disarray on the slick surface.

But what else do you do when you have an empty drag strip at your disposal and a couple of fast cars? You find a way to race. Rain, hail or shine.

Running our race in reverse on the coarse tarmac of Heathcote’s runoff area made for much better results. This is a real world test, after all – you’re not going to get perfectly dry cool conditions at every traffic light grand prix.

The rain did ease, giving us a precious few moments of useable tarmac; but in these conditions, both of the four-door powerhouses were found to be severely traction limited.

In a battle of twin-turbo sixes, the parings seemed neck and neck on paper; with the same kW output and just 50Nm between them. The difference came in the tech.

The BMW M3 Competition has one of the most drawn out traction control procedures we’ve come across, but once Dan eventually got it working it proved invaluable in getting the 1705kg German saloon off the mark.

Andy in the much lighter Giulia Q, had no such assistance; and was forced to throw the full bag of tricks at the red hot Italian in attempting to coax it off the line.

Even walking the Alfa Romeo off the line and short shifting into third wasn’t enough to keep the rear tyres purchased to the ground. The gap was closed in the default mode street start, but the M3’s superior launch management system saw it dismantle the unwieldly Italian in surgical fashion.

In diabolical conditions, the Alfa Romeo bested a 5.5 second sprint to 100km/h, and past the 400m mark in 13.1 seconds at 192km/h.

BMW’s newest star athlete, however, managed a best 0-100km/h time of 4.8 seconds, and blew past our finish line in 12.4 seconds at 197km/h.

Watch the full video above to see all the dramatics, and subscribe to the MOTOR Youtube for more drag battles, comparisons and reviews!


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