FEB 03rd 2015

Video: How to drive a McLaren M6B around Road America

Such is McLaren’s prominence and great achievement in Formula One that it’s contribution to Can Am racing might be overlooked on occasion. But before Porsche came along with Roger Penske, Mark Donohue, big bucks and even bigger horsepower it was completely and utterly dominant in a field that often included Lolas, Chapparals, Ferraris and a healthy smattering of Grand Prix drivers. Bear in mind that with the exception of Ferrari (and later, Porsche) almost everyone was using the same engine, and that legend has it these machines could lap faster than a contemporary Grand Prix car …

The engine in question was a Chevrolet V8. Here in Jim Pace’s M6B it is of the ‘small block’ varitety – without which large chunks of the historic racing community just wouldn’t be the same. Even at the Members’ Meeting and Revival events, and with the myriad of spine-tingling, exotic motors turning heads each time they’re started, to many people there’s still nothing like a big, strong, simple, ‘old fashioned’ V8. This clip will galvanise that position.

The M6B was a development of the car McLaren Chief test Driver Chris Goodwin used to such great effect in the Whitsun Trophy at the Revival. Sadly, we weren’t able to get a camera in Chris’s car (we’ll try harder next time …), but this clip gives you a fine impression of what it’s like to drive one of these monsters, surrounded by orange bodywork and with your legs pointing diagonally across to the pedals at a sharp angle. And that noise as Mr Pace hustles the car around the outstanding Road America circuit …

Start the clip at 1:35 if you want to skip straight to the good bit. And, as the on-screen instructions clearly advise, this clip should be played at high volume!

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