You’ve got to draw the line somewhere, I suppose. Sporting convention suggests you should rule it across the page just under your third-place finisher.
You hang a medal of a different precious metal around the neck of each contestant admitted, take a few exuberant podium snaps, if you like. And then, in our case at least – with the memories of so many V6s, V8s, V10s, flat sixes, straight sixes and turbo fours still competing to ring in your ears – you very calmly wend your way home.
And, in the end, that’s what we did – minus the neck ornamentation. But, as will become apparent when you get to the end of this test bonanza and take in our table of judges’ votes (no peeking), if what you are about to read had been a top-two duel, it might have been a fairer denouement.
Or a top-five royal rumble. Because when we’d finally driven the tread off every last tyre in the Anglesey paddock, wiped the childish grins from our faces, composed our thoughts and cast our votes, the judges of this year’s Britain’s Best Driver’s Car contest were heard to agree that they couldn’t remember a field of cars quite as competitive. Scoring more than 200 points out of a maximum 250 among cars this good felt like a cast-iron indicator of greatness. In another year, someone said, any car attracting enough credit to take it above that threshold could have landed an outright Handling Day title. Five cars managed it – five were in the 200 club. One each for the judges, conveniently. Imagine that.