Yesterday I took the decidedly subsonic train up to central Coventry to meet the fastest ground-level human on the planet.

RAF Wing Commander Andy Green holds the world land speed record - a supersonic 763.035mph in Thrust SSC on 15 October 1997 in the Black Rock desert in Nevada. Not only that, he also holds the diesel-fired land speed record - 350.092mph in the JCB DieselMax on the Bonneville Salt Flats on 23 August 2006.

The rendezvous was at Coventry’s Transport Museum, which is currently undergoing a revamp. A new display room houses the last two British land speed record holders - Thrust 2 (which hit 633.468mph in October 1983) and Thrust SSC - together with the new Bloodhound SSC.

If everything goes to plan, Bloodhound - which will also be piloted by Andy Green - will have hit 1000mph on a South African desert by the end of the year or early in 2016.

You might think, as I did, that Green is the UK’s go-to land speed record pilot because of his background flying Phantom and Tornado jets for the Royal Air Force. That’s obviously part of the reason, but he also happens to be a maths whizz. The sort of whizz who got a first in his Mathematics degree at Worcester College, Oxford.