Last Friday I set off in a new BMW M5 en route to the Nurburgring 24 hours. It would be my second experience of the ‘Green Hell’, but my first drive of Bavaria’s hottest and crushingly capable saloon (you know the one: twin-turbocharged V8, 552bhp, 0-62mph in 4.4sec). 

And you know what, the M5 was all the car I hoped it would be; refined, quiet and comfortable for 80mph jaunts on French tarmac, planted and confident all the way up to the car’s limiter on derestricted Autobahn stints.

The main draw for me, however, was the M5's noise and stomach turning acceleration. You’ll have seen Steve Sutcliffe grumble about the lack of aural drama, but in the real-world you really wouldn’t want anymore exhaust bark. The accelerative forces involved in any gear are something to behold; drop from seventh gear to third at 80mph and you’ll see 110mph faster than you can think.

Of course the weekend wasn't all about the M5. The Nurburgring 24 hours is my favourite date in the motorsport calendar and an event where the standings can change from one day to the next. And where else can you sit by a fire, drink beers and listen to the wail of racers with Rammstein in the background for 24 solid stunden?

Next year, I'm thinking about going feral and joining the locals in the woods...