RANGE ROVER SPORT TO THE 'RING
Faster than a Lotus Exige? Only if Dan Trent's driving the Lotus...
"You should take a Range Rover Sport," says Agnew. "It'll be good in the snow and you know it'll go around in 8:55 on standard tyres. And the guys reckon there's more to come."
Whaat? Given my personal best is a smidge over nine minutes, and that effort left me trembling with excitement, fear and adrenaline for at least a week, this sounded astonishing. Especially given that said 'Most Awesome 'Ring Lap Ever' was achieved in a Lotus Exige S. On track rubber, in perfect weather conditions and on a deserted track.
Sadly I won't be finding out as the only 'ring I'll be driving on this trip will be the one around Brussels en route to my appointments in Germany with various Nürburgring folk.
Before that though it's a daft'o'clock start and an early ferry. A glass of complementary fizz in the P&O Club Lounge is a tempting offer but tea is probably a better bet, no matter how much the Range Rover's purple paint and pale leather interior shout the blingy, champagne lifestyle.
A supercharged petrol V8 would have been nice of course, but ruled out in the interests of preserving PH's expenses budget. No need to worry though, at a continental cruise the trip computer shows a steady 29mpg or so, which is pretty good for a heavy beast like this.
Next day I head out for photos, the familiar roads around the 'ring if anything the equal of the formidable circuit itself. They're wide, well-sighted, deserted and sweeping and you could happily drive around this hilly, forested region and never touch the Nordschleife's tarmac.
And the whole package has character and a sense of occasion German rivals can only dream of. I feel a bit queasy that a vehicle I generally associate with yummy mummies and footballers might actually be getting under my skin, and remind myself why I'm in a Range Rover by doing something those folk will never do - taking it off-road.
Okay, it's only to scrabble up onto a muddy bank by the famous Brünnchen corner viewing spot but it gets a bit of clay on the Rangie's tyres and makes for a great pic so I'm happy.
I'm late and the journey back is made with no deference to PH expense accounts (sorry Chris-R, I'll save you one of those beers) and all of a sudden the Range Rover wakes up and digs deep into its formidable reserves. And it's brilliant.
So, I'd love to take that Lotus back to the 'ring. But, having tasted luxury, I'd love even more to tow it there behind a Range Rover Sport. Which to use for an attempt on that personal best lap time though? There's a question I never thought I'd be asking...