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The 2023 edition of the SCD Secret Meet saw a new addition to the schedule, with the Secret Meet Shootout bringing a new competitive element to the day. The invitational class saw a mix of ten cars across three categories — open wheel, competition, and road car — battling for class honours as well as the overall top spot. The weather played its part, but at the conclusion of the session, the outright victor was the Rodin FZED entry, driven by Oliver Webb, with a time of 1m 23.936s. But that only tells part of the story.

Threatening clouds were rolling over Donington Park, as the contenders were prepared in the pitlane for the inaugural Secret Meet Shootout. Heavy rain had fallen earlier in the afternoon, prior to the headline hypercar parade activity, but 70+ cars running around the 4.02-kilometre circuit had helped dry the track surface and the session looked to be set for strong lap times on slick tyres. And it was, at least initially, as the Rodin set out for its installation lap. With the UK headquarters at Donington Park, the FZED ran with some home advantage, but as Oli crossed the start line for his first flying lap, the rain had started to fall. Committed, he made his way around the circuit, but the speed at which the rain came meant he was forced to back off in the final corners, where his slick tyres had little to no grip on the drenched surface. Despite the circumstances, he completed a strong lap in tricky conditions, to set the benchmark. The Rodin was always going to be a strong contender, but having completed the majority of its lap on slick tyres in the dry, the other competitors were now likely to be fighting amongst themselves for the quickest wet lap.

After the rain subsided, slightly, the shootout resumed, and it was as exciting and engaging as expected, now with added spray and less grip on offer. The open wheel competition ended with the entries fairly spaced out, as David McDonald went quickest in the wet with the World Series Formula Renault 3.5, on a 1m 35.247s, while the Penske PC3 was wrestled around a very greasy circuit by Matt Wrigley, bringing with it a fantastic soundtrack, in  1m 47.152s.

The Competition class saw the closest battle as two full-fat GT3 cars were joined by the Glenturret-sponsored Porsche GT3 Cup car, fresh from the weekend’s race meeting. David McDonald was out again, this time in a Lamborghini Huracan GT3, and he delivered the quickest time of a 1m 40.050s. He wasn’t able to sit back and relax, however, as both the other competitors ran him close to the wire. Benny Simonsen came the closest in the Blackthorn-run Aston Martin Vantage GT3, while Ross Wylie in the Porsche was only marginally pushed into third place. At the line, the three cars were split by less than 0.7 seconds, highlighting just how competitive the entries were.

The final grouping of cars was for road-legal cars, wearing standard road tyres. As expected, however, the two entries were both very much track-focused, but very different approaches.
Up first was the extreme GT4 RS variant of the highly capable Porsche Cayman, driven by experienced racer, Jonny Cocker. The lap time in the wet set the benchmark just over the two-minute mark, before Jamie Clarke took to the track with the modified Ford Escort ‘Coswecan’. Wearing the iconic Repsol livery of the Carlos Sainz Senior-era Cosworth rally car, the fast Ford narrowly broke the two-minute mark to take the class honours, posting a 1m 59.890.

The final result was very much shuffled in terms of times due to the weather, but the competition was not dampened in any way. The competitive element was a great addition to the day and will be a definite on the schedule for 2024. But who will take the title next time?

Watch the shootout here:

https://youtu.be/vwxY7r2qkh4
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A collection of some of the world’s most exclusive and hotly anticipated hypercars were a particular highlight, as Donington Park hosted the 2023 edition of the SCD Secret Meet by Supercar Driver earlier this week. The event saw more than 500 cars descend on the circuit over the two days, with awe-inspiring displays in the paddock and a packed track schedule. Owners demonstrated a magnificent cross-section of road and track cars spanning more than six decades, concluding with an exciting timed shootout, which tested the drivers in tricky wet conditions.

Since its inception, the members-only event has grown rapidly to establish itself as a must for petrolheads; owners and enthusiasts, alike. This year’s edition was the biggest and most impressive to-date, with privately-owned cars joined by the dealers and manufacturer representation for the first time. Among the sights within the paddock, premier partners of the event, McLaren Automotive debuted the new 750S supercar as part of the brand’s 60th anniversary, while hosting guests and running test drives of their new hybrid sportscar, the Artura.

As the event built up on the first day, each arrival across the two paddocks saw yet more exotic machinery put into position. A selection of Formula 1 cars from teams such as Benetton, McLaren, Tyrell, and Leyton House, were joined by a fantastic selection of GT1-based machinery from the 1990s. Rare examples of the McLaren F1, Mercedes AMG CLK, TVR Cerbera Speed 12, Maserati MC12, Ferrari F40, Lamborghini Diablo, and Porsche 911 were displayed and run dynamically on track, joined by a truly world-class selection of the latest hypercars.

These included the first showing of the Koenigsegg CC850, the new Formula 1-engined Mercedes AMG One, the Gordon Murray T.50, Aston Martin Valkyrie, both road and AMR track examples, and the first public track running of the Praga Bohema. This line up was brought together as part of a track parade, along with a collection of 20 Porsche Carrera GTs, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the era defining V10 supercar. Lamborghini also had a significant presence on track and in the paddock, as the Italian brand honours six decades of supercar production. The paddock saw owners and exhibitors showcase an extensive range of models from the back catalogue. 

While the weather did affect the track running element of the event, it did not dampen the spirits of those attending. Drivers took to the track, while members and the gathered enthusiast and media watched the action closely. The hypercar saw over 80 cars carefully navigate Donington’s famous circuit, before the speeds increased for the Secret Meet Shootout. Despite tricky conditions – starting in the dry before a heavy downpour – the competitive edge was still very evident as the varied list of competitors battled it out for the ultimate honour of being the quickest. Running first, in initially dry conditions, Ollie Webb in the Rodin F-Zed single seater set a time which would ultimately not be beaten, before a heavy downpour. After a delayed start, the field then battled it out, with David McDonald the quickest of the wet runners in both the open wheeled class, at the wheel of the World Series by Renault single seater, and the competition class with the Lamborghini Huracan GT3. The Roadcar class was then topped by the Ford Escort ‘Coswecan’, driven by Jamie Clarke.

Commenting on the biggest and most successful event to-date, Supercar Driver founder and managing director, Adam Thorby explained: “What a truly incredible two days. The event has grown year-on-year, and has become something I never expected possible when we first set out on this journey. Our members, the partners and all the supporters have helped pull together one of the most impressive collections of mouth-watering cars, and it was almost too much to take in. Every arrival of a transporter brought something even more special! 

“It has taken many months of planning and coordination to bring everything together, and the whole team has done a fantastic job, and even though we knew everything that was expected, there were moments where we couldn’t quite believe what we were looking at. It certainly wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our premier partners; First Point Insurance, The Glenturret Whisky, Global Telemetrics, JBR Capital, McLaren Automotive and Pirelli, and I am incredibly proud of the line-up of cars we pulled together across the paddock and with the cars on track. The weather couldn’t even dampen things down, and the display of Carrera GTs leading one of the most mind-blowing hypercar line-ups I think has ever been assembled, will stay with me for a long time. The added competitive element at the end of the second day really added something special as well, and it was a great way to sign off such a fantastic event. 

“It’s going to be a tough one to top, but 2024 is already in the planning stage, so watch this space…”

Check out SCD Secret Meet social channels - @SCDSecretMeet on Instagram, and the Supercar Driver YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@scd - for more insight and exclusive content captured throughout the 2023 event.

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With less than two months to go, the SCD Secret Meet continues to build on an already-packed schedule. Now spanning two full days of track running and paddock displays, the Secret Meet will bring together all things automotive and motorsport, taking place at Donington Park over 10-11 July. 

With the event continuing to grow, the 2023 edition of the SCD Secret Meet will be the biggest to-date. The 48-hour automotive celebrations will host more than 500 cars, on track and throughout the paddock. One of the headline activities will be the all-new ‘Secret Meet Shootout’, pitching a varied and exciting range of sportscars and competition cars against each other and the stopwatch. Split over three classes - road, competition, and open wheel. - this will be a single flying lap around the famous Grand Prix circuit, with the whole session available via the SCD live stream. 

Among the cars confirmed for the shootout are period racers, each having campaigned at the highest level. In its centenary year, the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be honoured with the Lister Storm GT1 driven by IndyCar legend, Dario Franchitti, and a Dallara SP1 driven by DK Engineering’s James Cottingham, while the Benetton B197 will add a sprinkling of Formula 1 glamour to proceedings, with Phil Stratford at the wheel. Bringing things up to the modern day will be the Rodin FZed single seat track car, to be driven by the brand’s test driver and successful racer, Oliver Webb. He will also be at the wheel of the latest Porsche 992 GT3RS for the session, while Aston Martin Factory Driver Darren Turner will be looking to the top of the timesheets with the new Valkyrie AMR PRO.

Another new addition to the event will be a paddock party on the evening of the first day, Monday 10 July, previewing the main track running day. The exclusive event, open to Supercar Driver members and ticket holders, will be an opportunity to experience the Donington Park paddock with more than 500 cars expected and exhibits displayed by event sponsors, and the Premier Partners; First Point Insurance, The Glenturret Whisky, Global Telemetrics, JBR Capital, McLaren Automotive and Pirelli. 

Uninterrupted track running will be live streamed throughout the day on Tuesday 11 July, giving an insight into the atmosphere and activities in the paddock. Amanda Stretton will, once again, lead the proceedings, supported by the world-class commentary team of David Addison, Paul O’Neill and Chris Dawes. The timed lap shootout will conclude proceedings, running between 15.15 and 17.00.

https://youtu.be/b4Tb0YXAjlE

Commenting on the continuing growth of the Secret Meet and the prospect of the shootout track activity, Adam Thorby, Managing Director of Supercar Driver and the Secret Meet explained: “The Shootout is shaping up to be a real highlight of the Secret Meet, and we are excited to be introducing it with such a stellar line-up of drivers and cars. Last year we saw the unofficial lap record being broken by Harry Newey, which prompted this official timed shootout. Talking to those who are confirmed they are all in it to push their cars to the limit over one flying lap. 

“The event itself is growing in stature, and we are hugely proud of the list of partners and sponsors who are now confirmed, and this is ensuring that there will be a lot to see both on and off track. With the presenting team, and the live stream broadcast as well, we are working to bring all the action of this exclusive event to as many people as possible.”

Further cars are expected to be confirmed in the weeks building up to the event, with details on these to be announced via the @SCDSecretMeet Instagram channel. The broadcast will be live streamed via the Supercar Driver YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@scd

Stay tuned to the SCD Secret Meet social channels for more insight into what the 2023 event plans will include, and for more exclusive content. 

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The biggest open secret on the automotive calendar will make a return this summer, with the most extensive display to-date. Now entering its thirteenth year, the SCD Secret Meet has become one of the most exclusive track activities in the UK, attracting some of the biggest names and an impressive selection of race, track and hypercars in the country. This year, the two-day event returns to Donington Park for a fifth time and, on 10-11 July, will form part of ‘UK Car Week’ – a 10-day petrolheads’ nirvana during the summer.

The 2023 edition of the Secret Meet promises to be the biggest yet, with the paddock, display areas and the iconic circuit playing host to more than 500 cars. In previous years, the display has included historic Formula 1 cars, legendary models from sportscar racing’s golden eras, as well as the latest and greatest from the rarefied hypercar world. Taking this format and turning it up to 11, this year, the event will see an even greater selection of the most exciting cars being showcased in a variety of different ways.

https://youtu.be/b4Tb0YXAjlE

Thirty years on from one of the most iconic laps in Formula 1 history, drivers will have the opportunity to emulate Ayrton Senna around Donington Park’s Grand Prix layout. Demonstrations and extensive track running will also be broadcast live on Tuesday 11 July, including the timed lap shootout. With no balance of performance or handicaps in play, the no-holds-barred sprint will pitch all entrants against each other over a single lap run, in a winner-takes-all battle against the clock.

The SCD Secret Meet continues to build in stature and popularity, and is proudly part of the ‘UK Car Week’ activities taking place during July. With the Heveningham Concours and British Grand Prix taking place during the days immediately before, the SCD Secret Meet provides continued content and access for an exclusive group of petrolheads, enthusiasts and collectors on 10-11 July. From here, action shifts to the Goodwood Festival of Speed at the end of the week. 

Adam Thorby, Managing Director of Supercar Driver and the Secret Meet explains: “The SCD Secret Meet has become something that the entire UK automotive community has fallen in love with, and it has become the go-to gathering. We have dealers and manufacturers ready and willing to get involved, collectors ready to bring their toys out to play, and we are incredibly proud of the cars and people who we have been able to attract over the years. It’s a position that’s been hard earned over a decade and we don't plan on losing that momentum. 

“It is a privately run event, but we appreciate that the cars that our guests kindly bring along have a huge public appeal, and we are keen to make sure that everyone can enjoy the show that is put on. The line-up of cars this year is, possibly, the most extensive and impressive that we have ever achieved, and we have several new activities and features at the event, which we have had to extend to a second day for the first time. We want to retain the atmosphere and exclusivity that the Secret Meet has become known for, but our aim is to showcase the incredible array of cars to as many people as possible, and we are working hard to make sure that we can deliver the best results for everyone.”

The Secret Meet is proud to be supported and working with its premier partners – First Point Insurance, The Glenturret Whisky, Global Telemetrics, JBR Capital, McLaren Automotive and Pirelli – for the 2023 season. 

Stay tuned to the SCD Secret Meet social channels for more insight into what the 2023 event plans will include, and for more exclusive content. 

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