Part of Aston Martin's centenary celebrations included a parade lap around the Le Mans circuit in front of 250,000 spectators. 

It might sound like a relatively straightforward undertaking, a simple cruise around the track, but what I hadn't realised was that there was 100 Aston Martins set to take part.

That would no doubt prove to be quite a logistical challenge, lining up the cars between the events on track and getting them all out on time and in the right order.

With the parade due to take part at 10:55AM, we met at a pre-arranged point just next to the circuit at 9AM, where Aston officials began tagging and organising the rapidly accumulating queue of cars.

Our DB9 Volante transpired to be car number 16. We'd be following another DB9 Volante, which Stan Papior, our photographer, would be riding along in to take pictures. Behind us was yet another DB9, driven by PistonHead's Dan Trent and Stuart Forrest. 

We were slowly led out on to an unused section of track, and parked up while we waited for the historic racers to finish their competitive session on the circuit. Rain intermittently fell but nothing could dampen the spirits of the owners and officials, who bustled around ensuring everything was in order. 

Nor was the rain going to stop me from dropping the hood on the Volante, in order to really find out what that V12 sounded like at full chat on the Mulsanne straight. 

Prior to the drive we'd been given instructions on how to behave and, as you'd expect, it was all pretty much par for the course for a display run. No overtaking, no showboating, no driver swaps on the circuit and so on. Basically, apply a modicum of common sense and don't race.

It was rumoured that the event had been brought forwards, so the officials redoubled their efforts to get everyone in the right place. Fortunately, it turned out that the lap wouldn't take place until its allotted time anyway, so we waited until the green light was given.

Straight six, V8 and V12 engines barked and coughed in to life as the drivers of Astons new and old sensed our imminent release on to the track. There were Astons of all types taking part, including the One-77. Leading the pack would be the CC100, driven by Aston Martin's CEO, Dr Ulrich Bez.