I've never been more pleased to be in sunshine. For I am at the Nürburgring circuit in Germany with a driving brief for the first time, about to see if a rookie can be taught to be a king of the 'Ring after a two-day intensive training course
I'll be honest: I doubt Hans Stuck or Sabine Schmidt will have too much to worry about in 48 hours' time, but at least with some sunshine there's a chance I might have some grip to get a feel for the Green Hell if nothing else.
I'm here along with 99 others to do what's probably the ultimate driving course: Scuderia 7. On day one you have six 75 minute sessions, each dedicated to a section of a circuit. So think of it as learning Brands Hatch in just over an hour, before moving onto Silverstone, Donington, Snetterton, Thruxton and Knockhill to do the same. All in one day.
Then on day two the morning is spent trying to string it all together in one hot lap, in preparation for the final assessment in the afternoon that not only judges your laptime, but also how much information has sunk in from the instructors on lines, speed, smoothness etc.
Time will be split between two potent Vauxhalls: an Astra VXR and a Corsa VXR. I'm diving straight in at the deep end by going for the Astra first with an eye on using it for the final assessment, hoping its clever racing diff' and considerable extra torque might help me around the course. But then the Corsa is lighter and nimbler, preferable traits as a rookie. Decisions, decisions...