MONDAY - I think there may be hope for my driving after all.
In recent years, I’ve become quietly desperate about the way the very quickest performance cars – McLaren 650S, Porsche GT3 and suchlike – impose such loads on your body as they corner, brake and accelerate near the limit that it’s all you can do to drive them precisely for more than a few minutes.
Some will dismiss this as heresy, but I’m telling you the truth when I say sustained on-limit driving, even in the finest road cars, is a job for athletes of the Le Mans persuasion – unless, of course, you opt for the half-out-of-control-on-an-airfield thing that so reliably sustained Top Gear all those years.
Funnily enough, it was driving the ‘continuation series’ Lightweight E-Type Jag, on its traditional-treaded Dunlop racing tyres, that restored some of my faith.
The generous limits of this car, high enough to be quick, low enough to be predictable, allow you to judge exactly how far the shapely rear will slide under power, to exit quick corners exactly on line. I suspect this is why historic racing has become so popular in recent times. I certainly want to experience this feeling again.
WEDNESDAY - What a privilege to spend time with Aston Martin chief Andy Palmer on a busy working day (you'll be able to read about that online soon). Don’t believe I’ve ever learned so much in so few hours.
Although flat out all day, Palmer even found time to explain, in his office via a whiteboard, some essential principles of marketing he reckoned I was missing.
Most reassuring were the Aston chief’s plans to make the 102-year-old firm sustainably profitable by expanding its sports model range enough to protect it against boom and bust, and to earn sufficient ‘free cash’ with all-new models to fund the all-important model range after next. Watching Aston’s next decade is going to be a pleasure.