How we work, part one: above is a shot taken at what looks like a million miles an hour, for an upcoming car versus bike story.

And below is how it was actually taken: with photographer Luc Lacey secured in the rear of a Vauxhall while I (in the Audi) and tester Neil Winn (on the Ducati) hold station behind the car as steadily as possible. The speed is less than 20mph.

If you’re interested in these things, Luc says the shutter speed is 1/15th, the aperture was around F/11, he’s used a polarising filter and in post-processing pretty much all he’s done is boosted the contrast.

Screen shot 2018 04 25 at 05

How we work, part two: one or two car makers have declined to support awards ceremonies, reckoning they’re not all equal in fairness and, most crucially, transparency. And, perhaps, because they don’t win enough.

This magazine supports and helps organise Car of the Year, the biggest award in Europe. What I want to reassure you of is the transparency: no entry fee is asked, nobody has to pay to use the winner’s logo and manufacturers stroll into the awards ceremony for nothing – there are no tables at a prizegiving to buy at several grand a pop.

What do we ask? There’s some testing, obviously, for which we ask if they’ll supply cars. COTY’s seven organising magazines run – and pay for – an annual test day in France, where shortlisted car makers give some journalists a lift to and from the station. Here, British jurors also organise our own test day on the roads near Silverstone, which kindly lends us some space in the cafe.

Car makers are welcome to decline any of these opportunities, and it makes no difference – they’re still in the reckoning if they’ve launched an eligible car and enough of the 60 jurors have tested it. Ideally we’d test shortlisted cars back-to-back, but if we can’t, it’s no barrier.