Remember 92's are faster than 93's...j/k Also, you CAN shut your ASR off, he couldn't. (unless he had done something to it) Temp seems to make a BIG difference on the DOHC engined MB cars. Almost "turbo" kind of difference. Either that or my "butt-dyno" is overly sensitive but we don't need to go there. You did hit the nail on the head with driver skill and just a strong running car. Driver nerve and knowledge of his car under all conditions is a huge advantage on the street/track. If you know exactly where your strengths and weaknesses are and use both to your advantage you can take a car that is a little less up against cars that are quite a bit more... I seem to remember a Starfest event or a One Lap event where a Renntech car was being beat by a bone stock ML320 around a race track. The ML had a professional driver at the helm and the Renntech car's driver could of probably used some Skip Barber time. (either that or the ML offroaded accross the infield!) My experience with my car and my friend's Cobra illustrates that. If his launch isn't perfect and his shifts are not well timed I will catch him much earlier if not from "go" in the 400E. He may just be SOL vs the 500E.
While we are on the topic of magazine times...has anyone else noticed how in Motortrend the American cars are faster (than what you encounter on the street) and the European cars (especially MB) are slower? But in Road & Track it is usually the other way around.... C&D seems to be about in the middle on both counts. Another interesting phenomenon...when Lexus unveiled the GS400 it seemed all the initial press cars were doing just under 6 seconds to sixty. The more "off the shelf" ones are all over six seconds to sixty. Things that make ya go hmmm... If they were "hot" then it certainly wouldn't of been the first time a manufacturer had sent a "massaged" car to a test/review/press event. I think I'll stick to the old racer saying "The BS stops when the green flag drops!"