What are you driving right now?
My fun car, a Carrera 4S. I’ve always been a Porsche fan. It’s white. Very sweet...I always wanted to try [the 4S]. I had heard about this engine, and they were right: it’s a fabulous, fabulous car. Emma [his daughter] loves it. She’s 11, so I can take it on school runs. We can make lots of noise in the right places.
How fast do you get it going?
As you get a bit older, you get a bit more sensible and you realize that somebody might be over the hill. So rarely do I push it.
But I’m sure you used to…
I think I’ve been around 160, 170 mph, mostly with a couple famous Porsche drivers and Rally guys as well. Ari Vatanen, that was my greatest sporting experience. I had never met Ari before, and he puts me in the car on his track with him. Those cars, they are so solid, so tight, but he’s trying to break everything! He’s changing gears every second—bang! bang! bang!—and every boulder, every pot-hole he hit deliberately. He’s trying to break the car because that’s the only way we rebuild the car is if we break it.
Sure enough, the thing caught fire after 10 minutes. The press guy comes in and says, ‘How ya doing?' and Ari goes, ‘Oh we haven’t started going quick yet.’ We’re driving 110 mph and he doesn’t think we’re going quick yet.
So later when we get on this straight—or what I thought was a straight—we’re flying, we’re doing around 120 mph now on these dirt roads that are about 10-feet wide. I’m thinking, We’re going off the road. And right then he holds the wheel with one hand, and with the other he grabs my knee and he looks me right in the eyes and screams, “IS EVERYTHING ALRIGHT!?” Honest when I say that my stomach was through the ceiling.
Have you ever crashed a car?
I’ve spun a few, but never [airlifted] out or anything like that.