2011 Pagani HuayraEnlarge Photo
Last month Pagani’s Huayra supercar set a new record for a production car around the famous Top Gear test track, which was featured during the first episode of the popular British television program’s 19th season.
The Huayra’s time was an impressive 1:13.8, which was 1.3 seconds faster than the time set by the stripped-out Ariel Atom V8 (1:15.1) and 2.4 seconds faster than that of the McLaren MP4-12C (1:16.2)--huge differences for a track only 1.75 miles in length.
This caused some to doubt the Huayra’s legality for the show’s power lap segment, which states that a car needs to be in production, be fully road legal and be capable of crossing a standard speed bump to be eligible.
Fans on enthusiast website Teamspeed questioned the legality of the tires used on the test after pictures during filming showed a mysterious set of tires being used on the record-breaking car. The tires bore markings that appeared different to those of the Huayra’s regular Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires and looked similar to the racing slicks of Pagani’s non-street legal track car, the Zonda R, except that they had grooves.
In addition, photos of the same Huayra taken during filming of other parts of the episode revealed the Pirelli P Zero Corsa set instead.
This caused website Jalopnik to question Pagani about the situation. In response, Pagani's communications officer Luca Venturi confirmed that two separate tires were used on the Huayra during the filming of the show, the regular Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires and a set of Pirelli P Zero Trofeo tires, the latter of which was developed specially for the Huayra by Pirelli and used for the power lap test.
Importantly, Pagani confirmed that the Pirelli P Zero Trofeo tires were street legal and were available on the Huayra, which probably explains why Top Gear, which actually ran the test, had no qualms airing it.