“FIRE! OH GOD, IT’S ON FIRE!” I state calmly, resisting the urge to panic. Ticehurst, of course, can’t hear me, so I bury the throttle to try to catch him and warn him of the danger. Unsurprisingly, even a wounded, smoking Furai is faster than a people carrier. It takes a few seconds or so of furious gearshifting and horn honking for us to draw alongside the now-smouldering Furai.
“MARK! FIRE! FIRE! GET THE HELL OUT! MARK, IT’S ON FIRE!” I bellow, still entirely keeping my panic under control.
Ticehurst kills the engine and jumps out before the car has even reached a halt. He starts running. He keeps running. The lick of flame has taken hold, and now the engine bay is engulfed. Where are the fire crew? I realise that, because of the natural rise in the middle of the runway, we’re out of sight. As Brimble scrambles from the tracking car, I thrash towards the horizon with horn blaring and lights flashing, desperate to draw the fire crew’s attention to the unfolding situation, which, though shrinking in my mirror, is clearly worsening by the second.