Like a lot of Ben Collins' driving experiences, it was over almost as soon as it began.
You don't get long with the Stig. The man who coached the likes of Tom Cruise and Daniel Craig allows one to think he's making the most of showing you what he does. And what he does best is power and speed. We were in a limited enough environment at Weston Airport near Dublin having a crack at Ford's new Fiesta ST 200. It was also an event to mark the 40th anniversary of the legendary Ford Fiesta - at one time everyone's favourite car.
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It had rained a little over the period before we drove - just enough to add a little drifting capability - if 'drive' is the word for it.
It was rather more a tortured challenge of the car as Collins bade me a quick hello and I set off for one of the shortest interviews of my life. We were at 60 KPH before I realised we were moving at all and then began the blurred sequence of squealing tyres; drifting across the asphalt; cones that flew by at the seeming speed of some missiles from Star Wars, reversing at whiplash speed and, finally an expert stop.
It was short but I was determined to make the most of it and Collins rose to the challenge. Despite the noise that suggested carnage outside, Collins and | managed to get in quite a bit of conversation. He describes his new career as "genre driving" - that's what you call doing the driving for Daniel Craig in Skyfall. I asked him about the moments when it starts to go wrong instead of how it should be going?
"During Skyfall, I had to do a slide in a Jaguar towards a guy walking and then I realised he was going to be up against a wall without any escape. That was hairy. He was also a friend of mine".
"It's an amazing job. I get to drive Jags and Aston Martins and do terrible things to them. Each scene has its own challenges and the shots are critical. There is really no margin for error to make it work well" he says.
It was fun to drive with him, short though it was, and the competitor in him was barely disguised. "Wouldn't it be fun to take the car to Mondello and really open it up ?," he joked.
Collins is one the best racing drivers around and has always been a favourite with the professionals. It's funny that it took a suit and a helmet that made him anonymous to make him famous !