As a race car driver, one thing people always ask is, “What do you drive on the road?”
Because I race at speeds of up to 300km/h on the track, it seems expected that I should drive something equally as fast and exciting on the road. While the HSV VXR and Mazda MX5 I previously owned met those expectations, the less-than-mighty 1.6L Suzuki Jimny did not.
I’ve lost count of the exact number of cars I’ve owned, but we’re definitely talking double digits. Out of all of my cars, however, I have a few favourites I thought I’d share with you.
The BMW X3 3.0L Diesel M-Sport I’m driving at the moment is a great car. From the finish of the interior to the way the car handles and drives, it has to be the most refined car I’ve ever owned, and it’s not even one of the fancy BMWs! I’m not usually a fan of automatics, but in this case the steptronic transmission is so smooth that you don’t even notice it changing gears. And driving for 800km before having to stop for fuel is my idea of heaven!
I also loved my very first car: a MGB Mark II Roadster with overdrive. I’m not sure if it was the car’s performance that has cemented its position in my top three or the fact that it represented my first taste of freedom, but I have only fond memories of the MGB. In summer the top was permanently down, and although I needed to sit on a cushion to see over the dash, I felt I was the epitome of cool cruising around in my convertible.
However, out of all the cars I’ve ever owned, my favourite was without doubt a Honda Integra Type R. This was the closest I ever got to driving a race car on the road. I’m not talking about speed here. I’m talking about the handling, the suspension, the Recaro seats and steering wheel, the sound and performance of the engine and the close-ratio gearbox – that gearbox was awesome!
Even to look at one today I become wistful and dream of owning one again. But, unfortunately, it would be terribly awkward getting Scarlett in and out of a baby seat in the back of one of those. So it’s back to my practical X3, which isn’t such a bad thing at all.