“Wo, wo – woah…. Sorry, sorry – sorry. F***!” my mouth is flying as fast as my hands in this moment. In my mind images of my colleagues laughing, Nissan execs quietly removing me from their invite/car-loan list and my career coming to an abrupt halt all skate by in a loop.
I had such high hopes for this day… “Today I’ll show them!” I thought. “This is my chance to show I’m a great driver, fast even.”
I had fantasies about being “discovered” as a truly fast driver, maybe a potential racer! Maybe Nissan would get a report back from the instructors “Oh that Jacob,” they’d say. “He’s a gun, run him in every race!” My daughter would be proud, my wife um… also proud. So many fantasies I entertained as I waited for my turn on the track. Fantasies that were untenable as control disappeared and frantic hand dancing took its place. I was not a very good driver. I was a very sideways driver. A very scared driver. A very panicked driver. A very silly driver.
“Look up, lighten your grip, catch, catch, catch,” I tell myself.
The little Nissan Micra Cup racecar happily complies.
It’s an awkward, untidy and frightening moment that just happens to prove Nissan’s point: These are real race cars. This is a real race series, and yes, the drivers will be tested. If you’re a fat Aussie journo with an ego, you might just fail that test.