Marino Franchitti called me a lucky **** last Friday. The Ford World Endurance Championship driver was due to drive the number 67 GT in the 6 Hours of Spa the following day, but his expression suggested he wouldn’t mind hanging around until Sunday to have a go in our Nitrous Blue Ford Focus RS.

Luckily for me, his busy calendar meant I didn’t have to share my drive with a 12 Hours of Sebring race winner, but shortly after Friday’s final practice Franchitti did helpfully pass on a few hints and tips to help me attack the famous Belgian circuit properly.

“Really you should use Drift mode everywhere,” was an opening comment of his, but I explained that we’d be running with other cars on a Spa public track day, so this might be slightly anti-social.

I sketched out an outline of the 4.3-mile track on a blank sheet of paper and handed Franchitti a pen so he could mark out any key points to help me perfect my race line.

The ballpoint headed down the main straight towards turn one: the La Source hairpin.

“The main thing here is the exit,” he said, “because the speed you have there you’re going to carry all the way down the hill.”

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“Then [for the entry of Eau Rouge] be as close to the wall on the right as possible, and go over the left-hand kerb with half, maybe even three-quarters of the car."

In his GT racer, Franchitti is still flat out at this point, but in the five-door Focus RS, he concedes I might have to lift. “You’ll be lifting as you go down so you can get the car turned and get the trajectory right. As you go over the kerb [on the left], turn it, accelerate and apex the kerb on the right.”