Paul Swift is putting on a unique Christmas experience for your work party this year - Tom Burgess from The Northern Echo had a sneak preview.

Father Christmas has abandoned his sleigh this year for a convertible yellow Mustang.

I drove into Darlington Arena to be greeted with the sight of a man in a Santa hat screaming around the car park doing doughnuts.

My little Citroen C1 had never felt more pathetic than when driving past two souped up Fords and a powerful Mustang.

After struggling to park in the normal car parking space I really wasn’t sure I was ready to experience the full stunt driving experience with Paul Swift, a Top Gear driver for 20 years.

Getting out of my car I looked across the car park and saw an array of cones foreshadowing what was to come.

Paul explained that this Christmas he wants to provide an alternative event to the usual work party.

Paul immediately shocked me by saying that I would not just be a passenger while he did some stunts but that I was going to be getting the full experience.

The first challenge was setting the fastest lap time around the car park track.

I was told that not only was the ‘Yorkshire Stig’ (as Paul had been known on Top Gear) going to take the course on after me but that any cones I hit would be a five second time penalty.

Knowing I’m not a fast driver I promised myself that I’d go as fast as I could but make sure I didn’t hit any of the cones.

I had never driven an automatic car before so comically I stalled the yellow Mustang immediately at the start of my practice lap.

The Northern Echo: Paul Swift's Christmas experience

It would have provided an amusing comparison to the wild abandon of the doughnuts I had seen Paul doing as I arrived.

My practice lap around the course, doing 360 turns and slaloming around the cones, was slow.

One minute of experience driving an automatic car and I was ready for my first real test of the day, would I hit any cones?

Thankfully, I made it through fairly quickly and managed to avoid any time penalties.

Paul’s review of my official time, a respectable 41.50 seconds, was that I was ‘steady’ around the course.

The Northern Echo: Paul Swift's Christmas experience

Pleased with my performance I was not ready to be told that next I would be attempting to handbrake parallel park one of the souped-up modified Fords.

Paul gave me a hair-raising demonstration of exactly how easy he found handbrake parking.

Unlike me he was slamming the brake on and perfectly screeching the tyres to a stop between two very real cars.

After two breathtaking demonstrations I was told that I would be having my own attempt but thankfully only between some cones.

Slamming the accelerator on while hurtling to what at the time looked like a very small space for the car to fit into was very unnatural.

It was while attempting to handbrake parallel park that I realised I would never be cut out to take part in a James Bond style car chase.

After three attempts I managed to spin the car but I’m sorry to say any onlookers would not have been impressed by my performance.

I might be the only person to have made handbrake parallel parking not look cool.

There was an opportunity, which I was keen to seize, to redeem myself by pulling off the J-Turn.

This was a far easier task. All I had to do was reverse at full speed and then throw the wheel round 90 degrees and then keep driving.

I was becoming very well acquainted with the passenger door after a couple of demonstrations threw me around and then it was my turn.

Pressing the accelerator down to the floor while reversing is not something I have ever done before but it was an exhilarating experience.

I couldn’t believe it when I threw the wheel around, spinning the car and managing not to stall it.

It is without doubt the coolest thing I have ever managed to do.

The finale of the experience was Paul showing off his newest stunt with me in the passenger seat.

We approached an ominous looking ramp in the corner of the car park.

The Northern Echo: Paul Swift's Christmas experience

Without warning Paul began to drive one set of wheels up the ramp, slowly tipping the car fully onto one set of wheels.

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It felt like I was being levitated as we flew across the car park.

Seeing the car from what feels like the ceiling, while sat in the passenger seat, is an experience I will never forget.

If you want to book a similar experience for your work Christmas party get in touch with @PaulSwiftStunts.