Wow. Today I drove a Holden Commodore V8 Supercar, fresh from the Australian 2008 V8 Supercars championship.

SC-58 First the good news: I didn’t crash it. Second the, er, equally good news: it was brilliant.

I say brilliant, but let’s just make a few things clear. I didn’t know the circuit and, when I got out of the car, a real driver was waiting to give passenger rides to tens of punters who had paid handsomely for the privilege. So I didn’t dare drive to its limit and I didn’t drive for very long.

And – whisper it – some of the engineers who work on V8 Supercars don’t think the cars are that super.

For why? The rules say a V8 Supercar must weigh 1350kg (which the engineers think is too heavy). And something over 700kg or so has to be over the front wheels, so they can be understeery. The Dunlop control slicks are not the world’s most advanced, either.

I was still surprised though to learn that anybody could think a rear-drive, 650bhp V8 race car is, as was described to me, “a s**tbox”.

Pah. It’s not. Sure, V8 Supercars are a bit basic by big series standards, with their live rear axles and production saloon bodyshells, but it was fabulous. The full story will be in the mag in a few weeks, but I thought the car I drove was everything a V8 Supercar should be. It’s loud. It’s ludicrously fast.