SKI JORING WITH BENTLEY
PH travels to Gstaad for the fine winter tradition of dicking about in snowy car parks, Bentley style
Too much of a good thing
What's the worst that could happen, anyway? Too much snow for a start, which explains the slushy, bumpy car park location rather than the ski joring track just up the road in the sport's home of Rougemont near Gstaad, Switzerland. Four-wheel drive and winter tyres don't help if you're up to your undersides in powder.
PH takes the reins
I'm up after Franco, and with a growing crowd my initial bravado isn't quite so obvious when I pick up the bar. The GT's rump is certainly more appealing than a horse's and usefully the brake lights going off and sound of the GT's W12 signal my off. Even on the bumpy slushy snow the GT's winter rubber bites convincingly, hauling me quickly up to what feels like silly speeds. It's not apparently, the speed trap - courtesy, with an officer to operate it, of Gstaad's police force - only registers about 38km/h.
Our kind of horsepower
We're limited by the car park, so instead head off into the hills around Gstaad for some more car and ski silliness. We find exactly that, trying some more joring, only this time a bit faster. Steve sees 70km/h, about 45mph, on the speedo. That's about the top speed of an average nag. Quick, but not frighteningly so. That's reserved for stopping, if you see the brake lights you're too late. I anticipate the end of the run by side slipping, then giving it all when the brakes lights come on. Still, a horse's arse doesn't have brake lights. Nor does it have the capacity to go much faster. Unlike the Bentley...
Asked in the bar later by Bentley's head of PR how fast I'd be happy to go I suggest as happy as he'd let his driver try. There's currently no speed record and I can see a plan hatching. If that happens Franco's advice might come in very handy indeed.