When I was looking after BFGoodrich PR for the UK I managed to get a few real treats – one of which was organising a launch of BFG’s new Comp T/A tyre for Europe.
This was staged at the Paul Ricard circuit (which in those days was used for F1 testing and indeed had hosted the French GP on several occasions). We hired the whole facility for a few days and then flew journalists into the track for a series of back-to-back tests using Porsches fitted with the Comp T/A and the Pirelli P7.
The journos would take out the Comp T/A equipped car and then jump into an identical Porsche fitted with the P7 and be able to compare the handling, road-holding etc., I spent the time at the track driving between the tests in a 911 (as one of the journalists pointed out: ’discovering the outer limits of my handling envelope’) as a 20 something year old it doesn’t get much better than that or does it? We had to take the cars every night around 100 kms away to the nearest Pirelli P7 centre to get the cars fitted with new rubber for the next day.
This was in the days with no cameras and the police were not too hot on speeding. As this convoy of 911s, 928s and 944s sped through the Provence countryside – it really was one of those Kodak moments and would have made a perfect Top Gear Challenge – just who was going to make it to the garage first. Plus of course there was always the return trip….And naturally, the older you get the faster you were!