I think we’ve established on these pages before that making predictions should be avoided, as with writing clichés, ‘like the plague’.
But, hell, I think I have found the future of recreational driving. I’ve just spent two days in a disused quarry with six off-road vehicles, for an article you can read next week. Obviously we did some serious, objective 4x4 testing, but also a fair degree of what is known in this game as gratuitous cockaboutery – and it was brilliant.
I’ve hardly ever had so much fun testing cars, in a career that basically consists of telling you how much fun cars are. It’s not often that we get to the end of two days’ photography and testing, either on the road or on location, when it’s late on a Friday, three hours from home, and think: “Shall we do a bit more, just for fun?”
And when we do think that, we’re usually at a race track, so we can’t, because the paramedics and the marshals and the track controllers have gone home, because the locals will complain about the engine and tyre noise, because we’ve already ruined a car’s brakes and taken its tyres down to the canvas, and because, frankly, I’m just relieved that every supercar has gone back into its box unbroken.
None of these thoughts trouble you in a disused quarry or an empty wood, where you can still have understeer and oversteer, and get air, at 15mph, bothering precisely no one. Unlike the person who moved near to Snetterton circuit and was amazed to discover that cars and motorcycles went round it not just during the week but at weekends, too, Nimbys near an old quarry will never even know you were there.