The world’s greatest drag race 2!

8.4 million and counting. That’s how many views our inaugural “World’s Greatest Drag Race” video has earned in the 12 months since it first debuted on our Motor Trend YouTube channel. Not too shabby, eh?

As we did last year, for “World’s Greatest Drag Race 2” (creative title, we know), we lined up this year’s Best Driver’s Car contenders on a retired runway at the El Toro Marine Corps base and let them loose in an all-out run to the quarter-mile checkered flag. It’s the perfect capper to our Best Driver’s Car Week.

All of us here at Motor Trend hope you enjoy watching “World’s Greatest Drag Race 2” as much as we did producing it. Without further ado, turn up the volume and let ‘er rip!

The cars

Though we were down two cars from a year ago, this year’s nine-car field was almost as stellar when it came to total horsepower and overall cost of the sheetmetal on hand. How does roughly $1.2 million and 4700 horsepower sound? Yeah, we thought so.

Here’s how this year’s BDC contenders stacked up against last year’s:

2012 BDC Competitor Base Price (Rounded Up) Horsepower/Torque (lb-ft)
2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 $56,000 580/556
2013 Ford Shelby GT500 $55,000 662/631
2012 Jaguar XKR-S $133,000 550/502
2011 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 $383,000 691/509
2012 McLaren MP4-12C $231,000 592/443
2013 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series $106,000 510/457
2013 Nissan GT-R Black Edition $98,000 545/463
2012 Porsche Carrera S $97,000 400/325
2013 Subaru BRZ $28,000 200/151
Total $1,187,000 4730/4037
2011 BDC Competitor Base Price (Rounded Up) Horsepower/Torque (lb-ft)
2012 Audi R8 GT $201,000 560/398
2012 BMW 1 Series M $47,000 335/369
2012 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 with Z07 Package $77,000 505/470
2010 Ferrari 458 Italia $230,000 557/398
2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca $48,000 444/380
2012 Lexus LFA $380,000 552/354
2011 Lotus Evora S $77,000 345/295
2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG $187,000 563/479
2012 Nissan GT-R $91,000 530/448
2012 Porsche Cayman R $67,000 330/273
2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS $140,000 450/317
Total $1,545,000 5171/4181

The Test Team’s Take

Our ace test crew consists of road test editor Scott Mortara, associate road test editor and Motor Trend YouTube star Carlos Lago, testing director Kim Reynolds, and technical director Frank Markus. In any given year they’ll gather instrumented data on hundreds of new rides, from the tiniest Fiat to the beastliest Lamborghini. More often than not, they’re the ones who teach the rest of us how to properly launch a vehicle. Cars can be finicky, especially in multi-launch “World’s Greatest Drag Race” situations.

I pinned down Mortara for a quick Q&A session after the BDC dust settled.

NM: Which of the contenders was the trickiest to launch?

SM: Well, all but the Subaru BRZ and Jaguar XKR-S had some sort of launch control system, which basically takes the driver out of the launching equation. But of the pair, the Jaguar was definitely trickier.

NM: Easiest to launch?

SM: Without a question that had to be the Porsche. It had the quickest and easiest launch control of the group.

NM: How many sets of tires did we burn through during the filming of “WGDR 2”?

SM: We burned through a set in the Shelby GT500 — that was a cinch. It went through its tires more aggressively during the drag race than during our hot laps at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, which is understandable. But the real tire terror was the Mercedes-Benz Black Series. We killed two sets of tires in that one. It’s a monster.

What the man behind the camera says

Lead videographer Jim Gleason wanted to be careful not to tinker too much with the formula that made last year’s drag race so successful. We talked with him about what went into this year’s production.

NM: How did you and the team want to build upon the success of last year’s “WGDR”?

JG: For this year’s race we wanted to keep things pretty much in line with what we did last year. Other than some new and improved equipment, we felt that there was simply no need to mess with the tried and tested formula. Drag racing on a runway filled with exotic cars is just plain cool.

NM: What did you learn during the filming of 2011’s “WGDR” that you applied in 2012?

JG: For me, the biggest takeaway from last year’s race was how poor of a job we did at capturing the sound of 11 super cars running at full song down a runway. In person, the sound was absolutely breathtaking. This year we purchased better sound gear. We’ve also been toying with the idea of releasing a second version of the “World’s Greatest Drag Race” with no music so you can hear the cars better — an unplugged version, if you will.

NM: How much footage did your team capture during “WGDR 2”?

JG: Hard to say how many minutes we captured, but my best guess has our total workload at about half a terabyte of data. That’s just for the drag race portion of BDC.

NM: How many camera angles were shot during “WGDR 2”?

JG: Including our POVs, I’d say we shot at least 40 different angles.

NM: What the most difficult part of shooting such an event?

JG: The start! Getting all of the cars to leave the line at the exact same moment is surprisingly difficult. It’s a simple task with two cars or even four, but with 9 or 10, it’s a whole other animal.

NM: The easiest part?

JG: Getting volunteers from our staff to drive the cars. They came running!


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