If you had a sporting fantasy, what would it be? For many of my friends, it'd be to score the winning goal for England in the final of the World Cup. For a few others, it'd be to score a century in an Ashes test match and then take five wickets. For me, it'd be horse related: riding at Hickstead or show jumping at the Horse of the Year Show or doing a National Velvet and riding the winner of the Grand National.
When I was trying to figure out what to buy DH for his 40th birthday last year, I wondered what his would be and whether I could give him a gift that would fulfil it. I don't know what his was, but I can make a good guess what it is now.
On Sunday, DH "spent" his 40th Birthday Present: a Formula Silverstone single-seater "driving experience": 20 minutes driving a racing car around one of the circuits at Silverstone, the home of the British Grand Prix. He had a ball! I lost count of the number of laps he did, but he loved every minute of it. You can't see the smile on his face in the photo above, but I assure you it was there.
There were 18 drivers in DH's group. His session started with a short (20 minute) briefing about how to drive the track: when to brake, when to change gear, what is the best line to take through the bends. That was followed by a short "how to operate the car" briefing session in the pit lanes and then he was helped into his vehicle by a member of staff, who also went over the vehicle's controls. The cars were led out in groups of 6; each group had its own safety car. The safety car led them round the track at ever increasing speeds, before setting them free to race each other around the track for 10 minutes.
I'm really glad he loved it. I chose it for two reasons: it had the longest driving time of all the Red Letter Day driving experiences on offer, and it's something that appeals to me, which I thought would appeal to him too. Score 2:0 to me.