The attractive blonde smiled: "Are you scared of commitment?" Jari-Matti Latvala shifted uncomfortably in the middle of the stage. Then giggled like a schoolboy. "Yes, actually, I am."
Now, I know it had been a long flight to Auckland and I know I hadn't had much sleep, but... was this really happening? Oh yes, this was really happening.
The start of last week's Rally New Zealand was a bit of an odd one. Given the unpredictable mid-winter weather, the organisers had invited everybody inside the plush new Viaduct Events Centre for a ceremonial start without the cars. And everybody came - 'the drivers, the dignitaries and thousands of fans.
The culmination of the show was the selection of the running order for the roads ahead, with Latvala's apparent indecision bringing the question of commitment from his female friend. Given that this was going out live across New Zealand on TV3, her efforts to speed up the process were understandable.
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David Evans is the rallies editor of Autosport and Motorsport News. A successful rally driving father ensured an early introduction to motorsport and, fascinated as he was by rallying, the fourth estate was of equal interest. Having read (or at least looked at the pictures) from the age of two, he joined <i>Motoring News</i> in 1996 and later moved to Autosport in 2002.@davidevansrally More features by David Evans