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Ian Hoban, vehicle line director at Jaguar, was the man who oversaw production and testing of its new F-type R coupé. But it was a teenage experience of driving in Scotland in a Peugeot 205 GTi that really kick-started his interest in fast roads. Here, he recalls the highlights from his life behind the wheel.
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I drove this road in Spain every day for two weeks last year when we launched the F-type. You get to a plateau where there’s an alien, lunar landscape – it’s particularly atmospheric at sunset, with the rocks drenched in pink light. The road is sweeping and has challenging corners. In some areas you can play with the active exhaust of the F-type and get the noise bouncing off the rocks beside the road. It’s a feast for the senses.
Car of choice: Jaguar F-type R coupéPhoto: Getty Images
The Amalfi coast isn’t usually considered a driver’s road: you can’t go fast, but it’s incredibly visual. From Positano to Amalfi the road hugs the coast, passing beautiful but slightly faded towns. As you go up to Ravello, you can drive faster as you ascend up into the mountain mist. For me, it’s Italy encapsulated.
Car of choice: Jaguar XKSSPhoto: Getty Images
This road is a shortcut across the mountains and runs through a rugged, desolate environment. There are long, sweeping bends and interesting cambers on the road. It’s where I found out that Ireally liked driving fast – as a teenager, I used to visit my parents at their holiday home inEdinburgh, and persuaded my father to lend me the money to buy a Peugeot 205 GTi. It reminds me of the first thrills of driving in a spirited manner in an environment with little traffic and amazing views.
Car of choice: McLaren 650SPhoto: Getty Images
For 20 years, I’ve driven this route throughFrance to go skiing. Brides-les-Bains lies in the valley below Courchevel and I usually arrive just as the sun rises over the snow. There are long, fast stretches on the ascent to Courchevel, as well as tricky hairpins running through sleepy villages. Seven of the hairpins take you along a forest gravel track, with sheer drops on either side – an exciting end to the drive.
Car of choice: Range Rover Sport V8Photo: Getty Images
As a teenager, I bought a 1960s MG Midget, somehow got it through the MOT and went to Devon on a camping trip, motoring along the northern coast. The roads are narrow, usually with the sea on one side and a hedgerow on the other. Driving with my backside about an inch from the ground, a vague braking system and loosely controlled steering had a visceral excitement that made it special – I aim to do the trip again in that car with my son.
Car of choice: 1966 MG MidgetPhoto: Alamy