After a series of ‘incidents’ in recent years, Goodwood’s famed Supercar Run had some tight new rules for 2012 that meant only those with a racing licence could take exotica up the hillclimb.
So there were no competition winners or plucky punters behind the wheels of the Bugatti Veyrons, a trio of Ferraris, or some of the more obscure offerings from Arash or Savage.
By recently passing the ARDS course, it meant I could also line-up in the world’s most expensive traffic jam in a TRD-tweaked Toyota GT86.
The car was predictably a hoot: a cold, damp surface meant the TRD’s grippier 18in Pirelli rubber was actually welcomed over the regular Toyota GT86 a smaller and almost grip-free 17in Prius tyres. Any attempts at drifting around the corners in the conditions could well have seen some straw bails added to the TRD’s bodywork additions.
The go-faster appearance has not brought with it go-faster performance. But despite an absence of grunt, I was still able to catch up with the all-electric Morgan Plus 8 before the flint wall.
At this point where my progress up the hill had all but stopped I expected to have company of my own in my rear-view mirror as something considerably faster had taken its place on the start line before me, driven by someone with a bit more pedigree than a second place in a karting event on a small-scale replica of the Catalunya F1 circuit.
Sebastian Vettel is his name, if you’ve ever heard of him. Couple of F1 titles to his name, I’m told. But he was nowhere to be seen for a couple of minutes as I waited for him to park next to me in the holding paddock at the top of the hill.
In my own head, it was my quick getaway off the line and tidy progress through the opening three corners (all that ARDS training put to good use…) that ensured I comfortably beat Herr Vettel up the hill. Others told me stopping to do burnouts and doughnuts to the crowd slowed him, but there was no big screen in eyeshot while I waited to verify that…