It’s amazing how much less frightening it is to take a bunch of supercars, sports cars and super-heated hot hatches to the limit in 2010 than it was 25 years ago.

Back then - and I’m afraid I know, because that’s how long I’ve been scribbling – I would have spent much of the day experiencing momentary palpitations, hot sweats and the cold chill of fear.

And that’s not only because of a skill shortfall, but also because most cars didn’t have ABS brakes back then, let alone ESP, and plenty of them came with chassis that were less than thoroughly sorted.

See more pics from Autocar's annual Britain's Best Driver's Car contest

One of those would have been the 1985 edition of this year’s winner, a 911 Carrera providing plenty of scope for the kind of lift-off gyration and front-end lock up for which this breed was once infamous.