A wild ride up the hill at Goodwood
Alexei Sayle holds on tight as he's taken for the ride of his life up the Goodwood hillclimb in a Ferrari 458 Spider.
It has always seemed to me that the experience of being drunk resembles being trapped in a DVD which from time to time is randomly fast-forwarded by some unseen hand. So it is early evening and you are in a bar in Knightsbridge with some Guardsmen talking about Tolstoy, you have a couple of pints and then there is a whirring noise. Seemingly without time having passed, you are on a yacht in the Baltic doing a dance amongst a group of ballerinas, somebody hands you a tall glass, the whirring noise comes again and abruptly you are in Bradford Town Hall dressed only in your underpants.
Well, having a passenger ride in a Ferrari 458 Spider "Up the Hill" at theGoodwood Festival of Speed is like being imprisoned in that same DVD, except you are sober, the whirring noise is replaced with the mechanical scream of a 4.5-litre V8, there is no blackout as every microsecond is experienced in appalling high-deﬁnition clarity, and halfway through there is a very good chance that you could go into a ﬂint wall at 120mph.
My driver was Ray Grimes, a former two-times Fiorano Ferrari Instructor of the Year. Before we met I asked the Ferrari Director of Communications, "Erm, if I said I was frightened would Ray slow down?"
"No he'd probably go faster," he replied, so in the supercar paddock I was forced to maintain a machismo which nervously drunk so much water I really needed to use the toilet. Urinating while wearing a full face helmet is one more experience I can add to the day's list.
Ten minutes later we reached the start line, Ray selected Launch Control and buried the accelerator. I truly did not know it was possible to go so fast so quickly. If you have never experienced it I would say this level of acceleration seems like something from another universe where the laws of physics have been repealed. Ahead of us in the distance was a Ferrari FF, which amazingly had two passengers in the back. It must have felt like the most terrifying minicab ride ever.
by Alexei Sayle
by Alexei Sayle