The road sign from heaven arrived in the lanes close to home earlier this week: 'Skid risk. Max speed 20'. Men in orange trousers unwittingly created Rally Australia's Beraking stage on my doorstep. And it would have been wrong, wholly wrong, not to put it to good use.
I gave the Tar a good 15 minutes to bake before I was wheeling my high-mileage 120d down the road. And for the next hour I drove the same stretch over and over again, enormously sideways and all in the name of research. I took the opportunity to see what kind of effect road sweeping - that aspect of rallying that has so enraged Sebastien Ogier recently - really has. See... research.
Those in the know in the World Rally Championship reckon every car that passes is worth 0.1 second per kilometre. So, a driver running 10th on the road will have a second per kilometre advantage over the fella up front.