What do I remember most? Funnily enough, getting off the aircraft is right up there. As many of you will doubtless know and others be able to surmise without difficulty, the flight from London the Melbourne doesn’t exactly zip by. By the time you rise from your seat, gather your luggage and head gratefully for the exit, you are aware you have travelled a very great distance indeed. Yet there, on the very jetway onto which I now trod, it seemed I was still home. Because it came plastered with wall-to-wall posters from Jaguar announcing its presence, for the very first time, on the grid of a Formula 1 race. The arrivals hall was similarly adorned. And as I made my way into town, past all the billboards and advertising hoardings, it seemed that Jaguar had bought not just a jetway or an airport, but an entire city.
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Andrew Frankel has been racing cars for over 20 years and testing them for nearer to 30. He is senior contributing writer to both Autocar and MotorSport magazines, sits on the Car of the Year jury and was chief car tester for the Sunday Times for 15 years. He cites driving and writing as the only disciplines for which he has any talent and therefore considers himself vocationally employed. When he is not working he lives quietly in the Wye Valley with his family, a small and unimportant accumulation of cheap old cars and some sheep.