Drag racing aside, World Rallycross Championship cars are pretty much the quickest things on four wheels.

Based on humble hatchbacks but extensively re-engineered into almost unrecognisable machines, they make use of tremendous traction and heavy boost to launch off the line quicker than even Formula 1 cars.

This start performance is not just staggering, it’s also highly important. This is because the races can be as short as four laps long, meaning a fluffed first few hundred metres will pretty much end all hopes of a good result.

Guy Wilks, Britain’s sole remaining entry in this year’s WRX championship, has plenty of all-wheel drive competition experience to his name. Ahead of his final qualifying race at the season's Circuit de Catalunya round, we ask him how he nails a start in his JRM World Rallycross Team Mini Countryman.

“It’s pure aggression. It’s a reaction thing,” he says enthusiastically.

“We’ll do a tyre clean before we roll up to the start. It’s just to get dirt and debris off of the tyres and warm them a little, but we don’t want to warm them too much because these tyres are actually cross-ply, not radial, so if you heat them too much they start to move more and more.”