I’m hanging upside down by my ankles, much like a fruit bat, with an iPad in my hands. It displays a driver’s eye view from the cockpit of Bloodhound SSC, out through a narrow slot of windscreen as an endless desert rushes under the wheels. Blood floods to my head and the veins in my temples become purple and wormy. When I tilt the pad to the left – effectively it’s my steering wheel – the car veers to the right. Tilt it right and it goes to the left. Weird. Somebody shakes me and the screen goes fuzzy. Suddenly I’m flipped upright and something escapes from my nose and onto my shirt.
I’ve just broken the sound barrier. Virtually, at least. Because, while I might feel lightheaded and discombobulated, all of this is actually happening in a warehouse at the scrubby end of Bristol. Don’t worry, I’ve not been kidnapped. I’m doing this voluntarily, to gain a small insight into what Andy Green may experience when he attempts to drive Bloodhound for real – at 1,000mph – at the Hakskeen Pan in South Africa in 2016. Of course, he won’t be hanging upside down or expelling little green things through his nose, but with all the g force, he’ll feel like he is.