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What is a supercar track day like?
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TOPIC: What is a supercar track day like?
#17573
What is a supercar track day like? 6 Years, 9 Months ago Karma: 19
Taken from a write up I did on another forum, thought it might be of interest to some of you guys over here



I thought I would post this up as I had heard many bad and a few good things regarding these track days where you get to drive exotic cars around the track. Some reports tell us that you are not allowed drive them quickly. Other reports tell us that the cars themselves are restricted and all of this hear-say is enough to make you question attending such an event... here is my experience which will hopefully answer some of your questions.


Last Christmas I recevied a present which we I had mixed feelings about. It was a track day in the UK where I got to drive 4 laps in 4 european supercars. Having read many reviews on these events I was sceptical to say the least but was obviously appreciative of such a cool present.

Time came and went and eventually I had some spare time to get to the UK and use this gift. So I booked it for saturday 8th of Nov at 9am.

The event was taking place at Prestwold Hall in Leicestershire. Having debated what might be the easiest way to get there from Ireland and looked at flying to East Midlands airport I decided that it would be easier and more conveinient to get the boat to Hollyhead in Wales and drive.

My girlfriend and I set off in her celica and got the boat at 5pm and arrived in Loughborough at around 10:30pm and checked into our hotel which was based on the grounds of the university. We got up next morning and drove the 20 minutes or so to Prestwold Hall and its 1.8 mile track.


Upon arrival it was quite busy and immediately we went into the briefing room for the 9am session. This involved a quick safety briefing and an instructional DVD showing how to navigate the track and alerting you to some of their rules etc, pretty standard stuff.

All of the cars are fitted with video equipment and you can purchase your session on DVD if you wish. There is a waiver form you must sign and it states that you will be responsible for the first £2000 of any damage done while you are driving, they then offer you optional insurance for £20 which covers this, on a wet day I decided to take this, better safe than sorry.

After the instructional DVD you exit to the pit area and are collected by drivers in Alpina 3 series BMW's who take you on 4 laps of the track and talk you through how to take the bends


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All of their drivers have to have at least 2 years professional driving experience and seemed to know their stuff.

The two other lads in the BMW with me were doing different sessions. One guy was there to do 3 laps in the Audi R8 and the other was doing 3 laps in the Lambo LP560.



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Once the demo laps were finished it was in to select a helmet and out to the pit area


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First up was the Aston Martin Vantage V8


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Each car has a different driver and upon entering they are nice and friendly and introduce themselves. As we set off in the Aston the V8 growled but the car itself was all very civilised with a relatively light clutch and easy gear change. The rumours I had heard about the co-pilot not allowing you drive the car quickly were just that... rumours...

We were soon flying around the track and the Aston felt heavy but pretty fast. The track was slightly wet and I was absolutely astounded by the grip of the car. At one point we left the braking a little late and got the car a bit unbalanced. The rear got twichy but soon corrected itself and on we went..


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Next on the list was the Lamborghini Gallardo


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This car was immense. For sheer grip and aggressiveness this is the one! The engine is terrifying and it sounds like its a very unhappy beast that needs whipping ... The acceleration is blistering and there is absolutely no doubt in your mind that you are in a "supercar".
The paddle shift is light years ahead of anything Ive experienced before in cars like the DSG shift in the golf and the paddle shift in an FTO... this is lightening quick and scary as hell! The brakes were as impressive as the engine and the handling was incredible with the 4wd chewing up the corners.
I was reminded again how wrong the rumours were when my co pilot was telling me to brake later and give it more power... It would take a long time to trust a car like this .. it feels like its about to bite you and then at the last minute does what you tell it to do. We came up behind an scooby on a straight and went passed him like he was standing still.


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And then on to the 911


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I have always wanted to drive a 911 turbo and it was listed as one of the cars that would be available on this session but then a 911 carerra pulled up... hmmm no turbos?? I was having such fun I decided not to complain and just get in and take it around. The guy who was my co pilot for this car was a really nice chap and I asked him where the blowers were. He said that they preferred using the non-turbo version as the track was small and the weather wasnt great and he asked if I had ever driven a 911 before. I told him I had'nt and mentioned that I have always loved the 911. I took it out on the track and it was such an easy car to drive, you could have been in a family estate or similar.. it was effortless and then we got it up to speed and took it through the bends. I instantly knew this was the car for me.
The grip from its huge back tyres was incrdible and the power delivery was so smooth with its torque smootly pulling you out of the bends with ease. I easily did my fastest laps in this car and passed so many other cars on the track.

I have always wanted to drive a 911 and I can safely say that this was one of those moments in life where it was EVERYTHING and more that I had hoped it would be. The mostly incredibly balanced car. I would imagine the turbo is a beast but this showed me how much fun could be had while not feeling like the car was totally out of control like the lambo!!
The co-pilot gave me 3 extra laps in it because I was having a great time (fair play to him!)


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Last but certainly not least it was time for the Ferrari 575M


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What can I say about this car... holy SHIT! 500+ ponies all kicking out of the back wheels in the wet, man this car is mental!
If you, like me, have ever wondered what a car like this must be like to drive I can only tell you that it is immense! The gearshift is paddle again but my god how quick does it shift. It is lairy in the extreme. Approaching a bend fast get to the brake board and come down hard on the brakes and turn in.... very important... dont plant your right foot or its game over. This thing is tricky to drive hard and I would say it would catch out the foolish driver very quickly - it is a total out and out animal!
The ferrari was the only one of the four cars that the co pilot kept warning me about as we went around the track. He continuously reminded me that planting the foot... even in 3rd on the straights... would not be a good idea.
We kept coming up behind slower cars that would then speed up on the straights so I hung back on my second last lap to let them get a bit of distance and then had caught them again before the last corner.


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That concluded my driving for the day.
Upon completeion of each 4 laps the co pilot gives you a score on your score card along with some comments mine read like this:

V8 Aston: 88/100 Great start planned ahead well. Began to learn car and circuit quickly. Improved on every lap.

Lambo Gallardo: 89/100 Squeeled like a girl. Great concentration and listening well too keep up the gas on mid-corner

Porsche 997: 94/100 Fantastic drive. Great feel for the car, very fast and very safe -well done

Ferrari 575M: 95/100 Very good drive, well done - very fast!!

After the drive and your score card you get a certificate and get the option of purchasing a CD with your track photos and a print out of one of them which costs £25

If you or one of your friends is at the track you can purchase hot laps with one of their drivers where they will drive you at severe speed around the track or you can purchase laps yourself. They start from £30 for a lap and go up to £85 for 3 laps.

There were loads of cars there to choose from and I see from their new brocheure you can even have the new GTR skyline!

I hope this has given you an idea of what is involved both in the price of the little extras and the actual experience of the event itself. One thing I really liked was how I was never left waiting to get into any of the cars and never rushed to get out etc. The staff were very friendly and were all car enthusiasts themselves.

Here are some more pics


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:drive::drive::drive::drive::drive:
gv1.3
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Last Edit: 2010/08/26 18:35 By gv1.3.
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#17577
Re:What is a supercar track day like? 6 Years, 9 Months ago Karma: 148
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#17586
Re:What is a supercar track day like? 6 Years, 9 Months ago Karma: 213
Great write-up

Just thinking about the cars gets the adrenaline going
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#17601
Re:What is a supercar track day like? 6 Years, 9 Months ago Karma: 59
Fantastic review. Ever consider journalism?

KC+1 Well deserved.
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#17607
Re:What is a supercar track day like? 6 Years, 9 Months ago Karma: 284
Great write up kc+1
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#17617
Re:What is a supercar track day like? 6 Years, 9 Months ago Karma: 19
thanks lads, I do like to waffle on a bit

Just thought if any of you were considering doing one of those events and had heard poor reviews, like I had, it might set the record straight.

Actually wouldnt mind doing another one... road trip anyone?
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