STUNT supremo Russ Swift couldn't resist climbing into the driving seat of the Eastern Region's track car Project Merlot.
The world's number one display driver has become a star after wowing audiences of programmes like Fifth Gear and Top Gear and proving to be the skills behind numerous car stunt TV commercials.
He also holds three Guinness world records - including parallel parking in the tightest space (just 33cm longer than a car) and the fastest do-nuts (10 complete revolutions in under 15 seconds).
The celebrity precision driver took a moment out of his spectacular show at the 2007 Japanese Automobile Extravaganza at Peterborough to check out Project Merlot and chat to the team. Russ said: "My background is in grassroots motorsport. I used to do autotesting and I've seen with projects just like this, how you can start at the bottom and work your way up."
After hearing the car had been rescued from a scrap yard fate for just £50, and rebuilt on a shoestring budget, Russ said: "This is right after my own heart this is.
"I love to see it. These days motorsport is so much about money - it's such a big factor in most forms of the sport. I like to see people compete, or just have a go. If they win it's a bonus!"
Obviously enthused by the project he chatted about the modifications made to the car and recommended the team consider fitting a limited slip differential to help cornering while on the track. So taken was he by the little roadster that with a mischievous glint in his eye he asked what the handbrake was like. Maybe Russ was angling for a quick spin... Literally!