Yesterday I had a chance to give the new Championship White CTR a blast or two around Silverstone. My primary objective was to see whether or not the white paint makes a huge difference, or just a small difference. Honda took the time to tell us that white was the fastest colour, because Mr Undirstira had shaved off 1.5 seconds a lap at Tsukuba - now I just have to find that white effect.
Having had the obligatory couple of laps with an excellent and very friendly instructor (to make sure I wasn't liable to reverse the machinery into the hard bits), I thought I'd better get going with regular Type Rs.
The circuit was the National Circuit, with a bonus chicane. And luckily, it was wet. And slippery. And where it wasn't slippery (the bits I was trying to stay on) it was very slippery. Perfect!
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The black car was great. It felt very small out there, but the rock hard (for the road) suspension was just about OK for the track. It waved a wobbly disdainful tail at me when I proved that I was an amateur, and wriggled and jiggled when I pretended to be a pro. Into the chicane it always seemed to have more grip than I had judgement, and coming out it wibbled and zizzed its front wheels in a scrabble for grip.
Into the red car. I had high hopes, because as everyone knows red is ever so slightly faster. Using my ultra accurate timing system, my speed under the bridge shadow was (oddly) exactly the same. Maybe the sun had moved. The red car scattered the other cars more effectively, and the huge crowd of Scandinavian ladies responded by baring their chests. The best bit about about the red car was that the officials decided that the white car should be disqualified and have points deducted.
So on to the white one. (In fact, there was no white one for a bit, so back to the red, then the black and then the white). Immediately I could feel the white effect. The Scandi ladies re-clothed to show respect. Same tail wobbling under braking. Same "you idiot" slippedy slap when I sneaked onto the dry line. Nice into the chicane, and nice out. 3 laps done, and time to stop to select my next wife, from the waiting queue.
Damn! I forgot to over-cook it on the way out of the chicane. I stood there, like a best man who had forgotten the ring. What a plonker.
So back in the red car. Points deducted from everyone else. Back in the black. Nobody saw me. Into an S2000 - lost my voice with all the wooooooo and aaahhhhh noises you have to make as you snake about in the wet. By now, it was the end of the session. But look - the light is still green. I look down, to avoid the multiple gazes from all the staff who need lunch. Sod it. I am the customer who has paid, er, nothing for this. Back into the white.
Three times I came out of the chicane like a nutter. And three times I didn't slip, scrabble and look like a VXR in a straight line. You couldn't feel anything actually happening (like the clunk you get in a 350Z), it just slid easily and progressively. Most excellent - and you can scare your parents by making reference to hallucinogenic drugs when you make the sensible decision to go white.
Finally, a gentleman with a fear related disability took me out in the car made by a YOP from Halfords. I was surprised to see no whirly air vent fragrance dispensers in there, but was even more surprised when his mate strapped me into the car using my testicles. As he described what happens when you hit the dry line (and the car really made an effort to deploy the old where-you-came-from gag) all I could do was enter Little Britain mode and respond with "Yeah I know". We had a great chat, oddly though mostly about my day job...
Back on the road, and some great local roads filled with pot holes, mud and leaves, the white car proved once again that the CTR is the most utterly mental road car ever. In the complex I was shocked to see an interesting something in the distance, and found myself doing an emergency start. There was no scrabbling or banging, we just screeched off in a cloud of someone-elses-tyres smoke (best kind). Round the roundabouts though, it was situation normal, with the inherent understeer and VSA spoiling the fun.
There are, as always, some caveats. This car uses more fuel, because you will always go the long way home. If you let the little "no chance" red light go off on the upper dash, you may see a Rover Metro go past. Aspirational white van man will stop you and bore you. And divorce is on the cards - those Scandi girls are persistent.
If a Golf GTi could talk, it would run up to you and burst out technical waffle, quite loud, about how it would transport you quickly. The R however would slap you in the face, twice, scream at you with a manic grin (and a helping of flying phlegm) and then jump around like a possessed fool taunting you to have a go. It is the most childish and ridiculous car - and that is why nothing touches it.
If you are in the market for one - find a creamy white one at a dealer. Give it a lick - it tastes of vanilla. Then do the decent thing.
Finally some photos. If you look carefully, you will see in the reflections a large group of ladies begging for marriage.
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