When I learned that the world's fastest man Andy Green would be driving me up the iconic Goodwood hill in one of the world's fastest cars, it's safe to say that I was looking forward to our blast in a 650bhp Noble M600.
In case your memory’s a little hazy, Andy is the bloke who piloted the 110,000bhp, jet-powered Thrust SSC to a Mach 1 record 763mph in 1997. He’s also a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force and generally a bit of a British hero.
Before we climb aboard, I ask Andy what he thinks of the 200mph, twin turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 supercar: “I’m about to find out”, his response; like me, he’s never even sat in an M600, so I’m in good company.
Once strapped in (rather awkwardly for my 6ft 4in driver) the first thing Andy looks for is the traction control button, which is nestled under a jet fighter-like switch. In true adrenaline junky fashion, we’ll be running the car in its raw state…
To the start line and Andy opens the throttle ready for the marshal to let us loose. We’re released and the M600 hurtles down the straight accompanied by a cloud of smoke. Given that this supercar weighs less than a Renault Clio at just 1198kg, it’ll demolish 62mph in just 3.0sec, which hurts if you’re not used to it.
To the first corner and Andy’s entry speed makes me flinch a little bit, but the M600 takes the right hander with ease. A few more twists and we’re surrounded by jagged flint walls, just the thing to really appreciate the blown Volvo V8’s sumptuous soundtrack. The turbo whistles and dump valve pops are mega, too.
A minute or so later and the high adrenaline experience is already over. Apparently, the sign of a really quick car is 100mph on the Goodwood straight; we managed 107mph in the M600, which clearly impresses Andy: “It’s a bloody good thing this”, is his verdict. Coming from the world’s fastest man and (fingers crossed) soon to be supersonic 1000mph record holder in 2014, I’d say that’s very high praise indeed.
Oh, and in case you were wondering what the world’s fastest man drives, the answer is a Volkswagen Golf.