By the time you're reading this over 30 McLarens are embarking on an epic road trip across New Zealand. Being from New Zealand I'm not jealous at all. Nope. No jealousy here.
Just imagine that convoy, which includes an F1 and two P1s (one from Tokyo), driving through some of the most beautiful scenery in New Zealand. Scratch that. I mean the most beautiful scenery in the world.
Sure, here in Japan we had our own mega-McLaren gathering with twice the number of cars. And yes, it was held at the legendary Fuji Speedway but there was no F1 and no New Zealand scenery.
Still, it was an awesome event to see McLarens from all over Japan gather for this day of celebration. McLaren Japan have organised this Track Experience event for a few years now but this was the biggest one yet.
Over 70 cars took part, including two P1 GTRs, six "regular" P1s, and over a dozen 675LT. Unfortunately there wasn't a F1 because the owner wanted to take his P1 GTR out instead. Fair enough. Other McLaren models were also well represented, including the recently-launched 570GT.
By a whole day of celebration, I literally mean a whole day. From morning to evening, the cars went around Fuji Speedway in groups to make it fair. I guess even McLaren owners have to respect the model hierarchy.
There wasn't a moment where you'd see a P1 go out with a 12C. I guess it was to level the playing field. Even though this was supposed to be a casual track day, when you've got cars of that calibre out on a racetrack at the same time, you're going to get some people wanting to go a little faster than others.
A special shoutout goes to the driver of the Gulf-livery P1 GTR (which incidentally is road legal) as he overtook pretty much every car in his sights. He was winning the race that was going on in his own little world. I can respect that.
Amazingly, it was all smooth sailing for the event. Okay, there was a 12C that crashed before we got to the circuit but we'll gloss over that. The rest of the day was accident-free. No one crashed, no one ran out of fuel, and weirdly for a McLaren, no one had any engine failures. Well, I guess the engines in these aren't from Honda.
Usually these sorts of events are very exclusive and closed off, but that's one of the joys of being in Japan. Though technically this was a private event, Fuji Speedway is also open to the public. It also helps knowing a couple of McLaren customers.
The McLarens weren't the only cars doing their own thing at Fuji. On the other side of the track was a drift event. Elsewhere, there was a Toyota FJ Cruiser gathering with more than 600 FJs.
Of course when you've got 70+ McLarens in front of you it was hard to take my eyes off them, let alone think about going to a different section of the Fuji Speedway complex to see FJ Cruisers.
They wrapped up the day of blasting around the Speedway with a gentle parade lap. The P1s led the pack with everyone else following their lead. At the end, the cars parked up on the main straight for a group photo.
In typical Japanese style it was executed quickly and efficiently. Hell, even the pack up was done brilliantly. I swear to god I blinked and the next thing I knew half the cars were already loaded up on transporter trucks, with the other half already exiting the main gate at Fuji.
The McLaren Track Day at Fuji was only the entree to a month of events that would follow. Stay tuned for more on those events in Japan.