Current mileage: 162,958
So, what was Brucie doing at RNAS Yeovilton in August of last year?
Well, he was part of a team behind the F-type Challenge!
David Barzilay of CMC Bridgnorth driving a 5 litre F-type in stunning Firesand, had departed from Portsmouth while Brucie and I drove down to Fovant to meet up with him and his entourage – photographers in a French Racing Blue XKR-S and Silver XKR, and Tony O’keeffe in an XF.
From there we drove to Compton Abbas Airfield where Tony O’keeffe very kindly treated us all to lunch. Meanwhile, the Sea King helicopter which had been following us overhead, had to land at the end of the airfield, for fear of over-turning all the light aircraft. Compton Abbas Airfield is said to be the most picturesque airfield in the UK, set high on the unspoilt Dorset Downs in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The clubhouse is open to the public for refreshments, and makes an amazing venue with a unique vista across the rolling Dorset Downs, and a steady stream of light aircraft taking off and landing, for added interest! Outside, the ample carpark was packed, so Brucie double parked in front of the XKR-S, while the F-type was outside the main doors to the clubhouse.
Keeping up with the XKR-S and a 5 litre F-type had been quite a challenge for a non-aspirated 4 litre X300, but aided by the volume of traffic on the A30 we had somehow managed it. Leaving Compton Abbas, however, once split up from the leading supercars, Brucie had no chance of catching up, and eventually settled in behind Tony O’keeffe’s XF, which itself was no dawdler!
From Compton Abbas Airfield we made our way to the Cerne Abbas Giant. Overhead, in the distance, I could see the Sea King in the sky, but the F-type and XKR-S had long since vanished from sight along the winding Dorset lanes!
For me it was exciting to be a small part of something associated with Jaguar Cars, and right on my doorstep! For other tourists who had chosen to stop and take a look at the famous Cerne Abbas Giant there was an added attraction on this day, as they hastily snapped shots of the Sea King circling above and hovering in front of this ancient Dorset landmark, with the F-type and XKR-S parked below it!
The final stage was from Cerne Abbas to RNAS Yeovilton, where we all had to produce identity and be signed in before we could enter. This too was amazing, with a further one mile drive across private roads to the runway where the Sea King had landed and the F-type was parked in front of it for the final photo shoot.
Behind the scenes, a group of aircraft engineers had been sucked impatiently towards the XKR-S as if by some unseen force! Guy Loveridge was over-seeing test drives, so I made sure I got my turn before we left! Feeling very privileged to receive this unexpected special treat, I revelled in the ear-splitting rip of the exhausts as I gingerly put this £100K monster through its paces on the huge expanse of runway – an experience never to be forgotten!
So, that is what Brucie was doing at RNAS Yeovilton!
Perfect weather, perfect cars and a perfect day!