Delighted to have made the Wembley trek to this year’s Race of Champions, for about half a dozen reasons. For one, it was great to discover this wasn’t the undignified dog-and-pony show I feared it might be, but a genuine test of the ability of top drivers, with the usual delicious dollop of luck chucked in. If it wasn’t genuine, how could track and rally drivers instantly seem so evenly matched? And how would Schuey and Marcus Ekstrom – both past winners - rise to the top again, given all the uncertainties of the original draw?
From our perfect vantage point (I don’t believe this new Wembley has a bad one) you could clearly see the nuances in different drivers’ styles, and which styles brought the biggest dividends in laptime and speed. In fact, the distinctions were so easy to spot that you found yourself playing God, criticising Coulthard for not being quite as smooth as Button – and the pair for not seeming quite as determined as Priaulx.
If, like me, you’ve spent too much of your life standing on the corners of circuits, waiting for the field to come around again, proper arena motorsport like this seems much more intense and special. Funny how purpose-built Rockingham Speedway, which was supposed to deliver non-stop action, never really managed it, yet a tarmaced football stadium in London’s back-blocks can pack 40,000 people through the door. If you’re wondering whether you should go next time, my view would be don’t miss it. And I’ll see you there.