It's a beautiful day in West Sussex, although from an early hour the bucolic calm has been punctuated by the sound of race-tuned internal combustion engines.

I like to think I've made my contribution to the symphony by driving our McLaren MP4-12C down to Goodwood. It's fair to say I've had worse assignments. Yesterday evening I enjoyed a gentle and traffic-free cruise down from Middlesex to an overnight halt in Midhurst. It was my first drive in our Woking-bred supercar, because unsurprisingly the key fob is always in high demand in our office.

So far I've been amazed at this car's breadth of ability. It saunters along the motorway in a long-legged cruise, is terrific fun on A-roads and, for a low-slung, wide-arched sports car, is surprisingly easy to place in town and on narrow B-roads. If you avoid the worst of the road imperfections, it even rides acceptably well.

Our car is in the dedicated supercar parking area, a new initiative for this year's Festival of Speed. If you're heading to Goodwood tomorrow, it can be found at the top of the main paddock near Gate Four, and it is well worth a visit.

Cleverly, the area is situated alongside the path that leads spectators from the car parks to the Festival site so, like an amuse-bouche before the main course, it whets the appetite of Festival-goers.