It’s one thing to bottle out of something because you don’t know whether it can be done, quite another to wimp out despite knowing absolutely that what you’re trying to do isn’t just possible but has been done before.
What I’m trying to do is turn into the Craner Curves at Donington Park without lifting my foot. I’m in a supercharged Revolution SC500 and I’ve seen on-board footage of Revolution’s test driver, James Abbott, do just that. But there are problems: the Curves have a blind entry, they plummet downhill, there’s a tight corner at the bottom and, right now, the SC500 is doing almost 150mph. Try turning left unsighted at that speed with more than double the g-force any road car could hope to generate and you will see my issue.
Ultimately, you don’t have a choice. Your foot just lifts – or at least mine does. Not by much, probably not even enough to make a big difference to the ton-and-a-half apex speed, but a lift nevertheless. And when you extrapolate the consequences of owning such a stubbornly diffident foot right around the lap, it adds up to the difference between being front-runner and also-ran. At best.
Then again, perhaps I should give myself a break. The SC500 has 500bhp from its supercharged 3.7-litre Ford V6 and itself weighs just 800kg to provide a power-to-weight ratio of 625bhp per tonne. To put this in perspective, the same figure for the new Porsche 911 GT3 is 354bhp per tonne.
But actually, when you drive this Revolution, the straight-line punch is easy to assimilate. It’s the brakes and grip that do your head in.
So what is this car? It’s the brainchild of Phil Abbott, the man who founded Radical in 1996. The sell is that the Revolution offers better performance than a top-level GT3 racer for a price (around £160,000 with all bells and whistles attached) lower than for some GT4 cars. Actually, its lap times equate most closely to those of an LMP3.
What your money buys you is a proper racing car, not designed for any other purpose. It has a carbonfibre tub like a Le Mans prototype and a double halo system that you literally don’t notice while you’re driving. The only way in is over the top, but then you feed yourself down into the car to find an exceptionally accommodating driving position