I’ve had my mid-life crisis, sorry, sports car for several years now. It mostly sits on the drive looking angry and collecting bird crap.
We have a strange relationship. I fuss over it, needlessly worrying about the smallest thing and hate parking it anywhere in public. The strange bit is that this attitude is completely reversed once we’re at the track. Then I drive it like I stole it, flirting with the rev limiter on most gear changes and tutting at the manically flashing (nay shouting) traction control light as I take each corner slightly too fast. (Yes, yes, I’ll turn it off – next time. And once I address the ’slightly too fast’ issue.)
A clear example of this being the time it decided to *ahem* leak a bit of petrol whilst on a track day. I noticed it leaking from behind the filler cap, out over the rear bumper. But, my track day brain said “it’s not dripping now so it must only be under lateral g-forces” and out we went for another session. Had that have happened at home I would have been a nervous wreck.
Today wasn’t a track day. It was a rather dull Sunday and I was out of coffee. As the whizzy car hadn’t really moved in a few weeks I decided to pop to Tescos in that and get its oils flowing.
On the way back I took the longer, dual carriageway route home and applied a law abiding amount of beans, officer. After a few miles I looped round a roundabout to head home.
Then it happened. As I left the roundabout there was nobody in front of me. Two straight lanes in front, 333 nicely warmed up BHP under the bonnet and some recently purchased wine behind me in need of the fridge.
So I did as BMW’s M division intended and smoothly yet swiftly applied the loud pedal.
No, nothing bad happened. Instead I experienced what Evo magazine’s strapline calls ‘The thrill of driving’. The acceleration, the noise – oh, the noise, and the feel of the road in my hands. It brought a genuine smile to my face which I hadn’t noticed I’d been missing for a while.
Alas traffic, legality and common sense put an all too soon an end to the feeling, but it was great whilst it lasted and the wine was in the fridge in good time.