I’m witnessing Jaguar First, the company’s young driver programme for children aged 11 to 17, which now has the truly scary addition of the F-Type in it. Even with the smallest engine available, the 2.0-litre, this is a car capable of 0-60mph in 5.4 seconds. Of course, it’s the one all the boys want to drive. But where are the girls? There are disappointingly none on the day I attend.
This track is in the Cotswolds, although the experience moves round the country. As well as the Jaguar track experience we’re at, there’s also a Land Rover off-road experience available. I’m here with Matt, the 11-year-old son of my cousin. All he wants to know is whether he’s allowed to get up to 60mph, which he heard someone else did. Luckily, the instructor is a patient man.
We start off, perhaps wisely, with the F-Pace SUV
. There are dual-control pedals in all the cars, thank goodness. Accompanying adults are allowed to sit in the back, so I clamber in with Matt’s dad. We buckle up. It turns out Matt’s dad is better than I am, and he doesn’t utter a word as we set off, whereas I let out the occasional squeal when Matt decides to see what happens if he presses the accelerator pedal hard. It’s not my fault; I challenge any adult to stay calm when the 11-year-old they’re about to get in a car with asks his dad: “Do you think they’ll let me drift it? ‘Cos I know how to do that.”