First step was to get the car to Silverstone for its pre-track check. Running 'your' McLaren at one of these events has certain benefits, not least a restricted number of like-minded owners on track. No fear of some idiot in a GT-R running into you or being humiliated by Caterhams, in other words. Factory support also means you keep your warranty intact.
Once checked your car is held in 'parc ferme' until a similar end-of-day inspection. Track day regulars may consider this unnecessary control freakery; for owners new to the brand and - seemingly in many cases - track driving I'd say it's a comforting introduction to what could be an intimidating experience.
the 720S. Indeed, from these guys to casual attendance by the likes of senior McLaren suits up to and including boss Mike Flewitt you're very much encouraged to feel part of the family. Flewitt and his colleagues are great ambassadors too, happily mixing with owners, chatting over coffees and ready to engage about all matters McLaren. Or just cars, Flewitt eager to share in the excitement over the fully-specced, delivery miles M3 he'd spotted going for a song in the PH classifieds and bought as his new daily.
All good fun and with Anglesey fresh in my mind I didn't have huge expectations, beyond looking forward to finally stretching the 570's legs a bit. Boy was I forced to recalibrate! Silverstone is a fast circuit of course. 168mph along Hangar Straight and into the braking zone for Stowe is a bit serious though. This in the most road-oriented product in the McLaren range. I shouldn't have been surprised that Silverstone's space and flowing corners would be more suited to the Sports Series, but I was shocked at the night and day difference in the way the car felt.
With everything turned up to Track the damper support means your feedback comes more from steering and seat of the pants than it does sensations of pitch and roll but you can still play with the weight distribution in the corners. As on the road the Brake Steer and stability control are tactful in their interventions, loosening the reins to the mid-way setting introducing a little more mobility and throttle adjustability. I did a couple of laps with everything off and gassed it out of the slower turns to see what would happen, with the caveat this wasn't really the place to be attempting showboating and such pratting about still doesn't come naturally to McLarens. Fast and neat it was then. Really fast and neat. Really, really fast.
Later in the day I got to try out a 570S fitted with figure-hugging fixed seats, ceramic brakes and P Zero Corsa tyres. The faster rack gives it a pointier and more agile feel, the ability to lean harder on brakes and tyres making it seem more playful too. But the GT didn't give as much away to it as I expected. And for the kind of customer who might do most of their driving on the road and treat themselves to one or two such events over the course of their ownership it certainly wasn't disgraced.
And that's about the worst I can say about the experience!
Onboard around Silverstone with the 570GT
Car: McLaren 570GT
Run by: Dan
On fleet since: April
Mileage: 4,195 (or over a quarter or my 'allowance')
List price new: £178,735 (Basic list price of £155,755, plus Elite Ice Silver paint £3,490, Super-Lightweight Forged wheels in Stealth £3,490 + £1,110, red brake calipers £900, Rocket Red badge set, Vehicle Tracking System £630, Sports Exhaust £3,240, Luxury Design 2 package in Saddle Tan and Carbon Black from By McLaren Designer Interiors £2,520, Carbon Fibre Interior Pack £2,500, GT Upgrade Pack £5,020, first aid kit and warning triangle £60)
Last month at a glance: 'GT' or not the 570 proves all supercar at Silverstone