“OK, you go now.”
Race engineer David Ladouce’s voice crackles through my helmet’s earpiece. A dozen Citroen race staff look on as if I’ve just nicked their newborn child for a spot of baby-juggling. As experiences go, this isn’t so much outside my comfort zone as at the opposite end of a long-haul flight from that particular location.
The C-Elysee is dropped on its hydraulic jacks, thudding down onto the tarmac. Prod the big button in the middle of the steering wheel and the 1.6 starts first time, settling into an easy mechanical idle.
Get out, get round, get back in without crashing.
Tap gearlever into first, ease out the clutch. The C-Elysee judders on its way. Hey, at least I haven’t stalled. If you need a driver for next year, Christian or Ron, you know where to find me.
There’s a chicane of cones at the pit exit, then – for some reason – a metal football-goal of a frame that, from where I’m sitting, looks barely wider than the Citroen itself. Ripping one side from the car before getting out onto the track proper would, I reckon, be regarded as something of a faux pas.
Breathe in, safely through the goalposts, out onto the circuit.