To business: With all performance testing and drag races in the bag, CAR’s Performance Shootout 2023 started in earnest as our speed squad first assembled to tackle the next day’s stint, handling the selection of cruise missiles… writes Braam Peens.

To deliver this mission, there could be no better part of blacktop than the Cape’s finest driving roads. An early morning start saw all the cars congregate at Gordon’s Bay before setting off on a scenic, and more than just occasionally swift – jaunt around Clarence Drive; the knotted ribbon of tarmac that frames False Bay. Bordered by rockface on the one side and the Indian Ocean on the other, it’s a picture-pretty journey loved by tourists but when in the right car, adored even more by driving enthusiasts. Like a rally stage, it’s a never-ending mix of short straights and countless corners that puts a premium on direction changes – and especially corner exit ability.

But the best was yet to come.

By their very nature such days, however; are equally punctuated by stopping and regrouping for photography. The ten-strong (plus two support vehicles) next thundered into Kleinmond harbour, giving the snap-happy locals a sight – and plenty of sound – of what 2022’s finest metal looked like.

Then, via Hermanus towards Caledon, we set off for lunch at Creation Wines on the R320, a tranquil setting that dots one of the Cape’s most best-kept secrets as a host for some devastatingly fast driving. Wide with curves, climbs and drops, this was the acid test that separated the contenders from the also-rans in our line-up; and bringing to the fore not just one, but two surprise challengers as notes were compared, and individual findings equated in the aftermath.

After two days and another to go, only one thing is certain: the Car Performance Shootout 2023 is heading for a bombshell result.

Words: Braam Peens

Images: Peet Mocke

Keyword: #CARMAGShootout Day 2: Cruise missiles!

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