Sebastien Loeb is about to crash. At least, its seems that way, as the side of the five-times World Rally Champion’s Citroen C4 WRC - my side, wouldn’t you know - heads smoothly and rapidly towards the unappealing combination of one of Charles March’s finest trees and a hefty straw bale.

We are at least 10mph faster than we’d like to be through this deceptive left-hander, and for a fleeting moment I even regret waiting for Citroen’s mechanics to slacken enough seat belt to shoehorn my ample frame into the co-driver’s seat.

Read Autocar's Festival of Speed report here

Suddenly, though, the 300bhp-plus of the C4’s 2.0-litre turbocharged motor overcomes the slide, chipping away at sideways momentum and clawing us back into acceleration.