It's sacrilege, I know, to call myself a petrolhead and not have made the pilgrimage to the motoring Mecca that is the Nürburgring.

Today though, I get to right that wrong with a lap of the track. Taking me out in a Hyundai Genesis Coupé is professional test driver Daniel Herregods.

He's been racing all his life, and has clocked over 12,000 laps of the ’Ring. He's also raced with some of the greatest drivers — Mansell, Prost and Piquet have all shared a grid with him.

"History has been made here," he says as we pass under the gantry and start our lap, "if a driver can be good here, if a car can be good here, then they can be good anywhere." 

He's right, and as we round the first few corners Herregods points out scenes of famous crashes and spins at the ’Ring. For a first timer, that doesn't fill me with confidence.

But my god this man can drive. We're at the 5km marker before I've caught my breath. Despite being buffeted by what seems like every physical force all at once, Herregods still finds time to talk about his role in Hyundai's development programme here.

As part of a €5.5 million investment the manufacturer will now have a permanent presence at the ’Ring, joining a select group of companies who use the iconic circuit to hone the performance of their cars.

Through Karousel and we're sideways out the other side. I spot some late leavers watching our progress, surrounded by campsite wreckage from last weekend's Nürburgring 24 hours race. 

The Genesis Coupé handles the interweaving corners of the circuit well, though some understeer on the latter stages of our lap meets with a sigh of disapproval from the driver. It's exactly that sort of thing Herregods and his team are here to find. The rationale is that within its 73 corners the Nürburgring can replicate almost any road condition within Europe, so making Hyundai's cars handle well here is key to its success.

On the final straight, as we're nudging top speed, Herregods shows me a radio antenna in the distance, high up and far away. That's the other side of the circuit, he says, demonstrating not only how big the Nürburgring is but also the 300m altitude difference which takes place with every lap.

As we pull back into the paddock Herregods seems displeased with his performance. "It wasn't that fast, it's too wet" he says.

Fast enough for me, chap. Until the next time.