When the Rapture revs, it sounds nothing like the sporty hot hatch with which it shares a powertrain. It’s ear-splitting, and not just for its occupants but also the people around it. Happily, this meant my lovely driver Joe doesn’t hear me call him every name under the sun when he takes the opportunity to ‘warm the tyres’ with a few donuts as we head to the bottom of the hill.
I’m nervous by the time we approach the start line. This car is obviously very capable in the right hands, and I am reliably informed that it is very much in the right hands.
“A nice, sedate parade run, yeah?” I shout over the Rapture’s harsh bark.
“Yeah… that’s not really what I’m here for,” Crook replies.
When the flag goes down, there’s a millisecond to collect your breath, and then the rear tyres dig in and your eyes quickly make their way to the back of your skull. This car is insanely quick; 0-60mph times are just vague figures until you see them for yourself, and the Rapture made good on its three-second promise. You have to remember that this car can be driven to the supermarket every day on a normal road licence, which is mind-blowing.
The first corner looms like a golden beacon. Good, I think, we have to slow down.
But we do not. The Rapture’s massive grooved discs and four-pot calipers feel like they could stop the car quicker than an ill-placed brick wall, and Crook seems keen to get as close to the hay bales as he possibly can. We clip the apex and power up and under the bridge, sitting so close to the ground that it begins to feel a lot like sitting atop a rocket-powered sled.
Passengers will find themselves making wildly exaggerated bodily reactions to each of the car’s movements, but it’s difficult to prevent. Coming around Molecomb Corner at speed is enough to make you feel like you're falling out, so gobsmacking is the grip of its tyres and responsiveness of its FIA-approved chassis, and desperately grab at a piece of roll-cage. But the Rapture continues onwards, tackling the chicane and narrow Flint Wall section with almost unbelievable agility, and making absolute mincemeat of the final straight.