I’m god’s gift to the steering wheel. Or at least I thought I was until the car I was in spun around, crashed through a caravan, flipped upside down and left me mentally and physically scarred for all eternity.
I discovered I wasn’t quite as good as I thought I was whilst recording video for the inaugural episode of Recombu Cars’ Joyride series — a show that isn’t at all about joyriding in the traditional sense, but rather the simple pleasure one gets from driving piloting a beautiful car down a beautiful road on a beautiful day.
This particular day certainly started beautifully enough. I went along to the launch of Ridge Racer Unbounded with my buddies at Namco and tried my hand at the game. I busted out some virtual drifting, digitised handbrake turns, jumped off pixellated ramps, and generally amazed the living crap out of everybody within eyeshot of the Xbox 360.
It was enormous fun, but after the virtual tomfoolery it was time to try this stuff inside an actual car, with an actual stunt driver named Terry Grant and my actual flesh on the line. Needless to say, it did not go as smoothly as I’d imagined. Sure, it started OK. I proved reasonably good at precision handbrake parking, managed to drive a Peugeot 106 on two wheels and banged out the sort of no-handed donuts that can make a teenage boy soil himself, but after that — things got very real very quickly.
Terry, fed up with my increasing cockiness, decided to teach me a lesson I’d only forget after an extensive stint in physical therapy. He did it for my benefit, apparently — to teach me to respect my limits, respect the rules of the road and to stick to what I’m good at — Ridge Racer Unbounded.
Have a look at the video for yourself, but please don’t try any of this at home. When you’re done, visit terrygrant.com to see how a pro does it, and — if you fancy re-enacting any of this in a safe, fun environment — grab yourself a copy of Ridge Racer Unbounded, which is available to buy now for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.