Anyone tried driving experiences?

lynall

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Wifes always going on about getting a Porsche for her 40th not long to go now:D and i saw an advert for driving experiences where you get to drive a few supercars for about £250 and though excellent pressy for swmbo.

So has anyone tried them or been on one similiar?, she has had a look at the ones at Brands but you get hardly any driving time.




Lynall
 

verytalldave

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My daughter gave her BF a present of a drive in a Ferrari at Brands Hatch.
He absolutely loved it and was well worth the cost.
Go for it.

Alternatively, hire one for the weekend but it will probably cost alot more.
 

cidersurfer

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I was lucky enough to go to a corporate event at http://www.palmersport.com/ earlier this year. It's not cheap at about £800 but it's an unforgettable day. Expertly run, fantastic cars and tuition too. I want to go again next year!
 

fyonn

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I had a driving experience day for my 30th birthday present from my fiancee and some friends. it was at bruntingthorpe racing circuit and got me 3 laps each in a lotus elise, subaru impreza, porsche 911 and a ferrari 360.

it was excellent fun and I'd be happy to do it again. that said, 3 laps each isn't a lot and you feel like just as you're getting used to it, it's finished. might have preferred 6 laps each in the porsche and ferrari :)

still a good laugh and well worth doing I think.

I also recently went on a vauxhall VXR track day at brands hatch which was fantastic fun too. you got to do much more driving, and it's a more interesting track.

dave
 

Rovinghawk

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I tried the Maserati 4200 & Lamborghini Gallardo twice at Prestwold Hall- £99ish each. The first two visits were superb and I was intending to be a regular visitor; the third trip had an ******** instructor who insisted on grabbing the wheel & steering for me plus adding sarky comments.

I won't be going there again & will take my business elsewhere.

RH
 

LeighW

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I did a Ferrari driving experience at Silverstone about 5 years ago. It was 3 laps in a Audi TT 3.2, then 3 laps in Porsche 993, then 3 laps in a Ferrari 355.

The instructor in the TT was a young bloke, who taught me the lines well, and let me have some fun and 'press on' quite a bit. Much squealing tyres, much fun. :bannana:

The instructor in the Porsche told me I was only to use 3rd and 4th gears all the way around the track. Of course, on the main straight, this resulted in me hitting the limiter in 4th. :rolleyes:

Then, just as I was about to get into the Ferrari, the Porsche instructor had a word in the lady Ferrari instructor's ear, which was presumably her being told to make me go slow. I got in the car, and she told me that I was only to use 5th gear all the way round!! :mad: I told her politely that I would do no such thing, and off we went.

I have the photo of me in the 355 pressing on through a bend, the instructor's face is a picture. I did notice it was spewing coolant on the floor as I walked away, so i think I got my money's worth...

All in all, ok for £250, but I wouldn't rush to do it again there to be honest. I'm not going to pay to go on a race track only to be told to go slow. It wasn't as if I was driving poorly either, the Audi instructor gave me 92%, which I thought was good going tbh.
 

Marque

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I had a good day out at Thruxton as a present a few years ago. (It was bought through buyagift.co.uk with Tesco vouchers, I believe, so v. cheap.)

I got to drive a Formula Renault single seater, which was truly an experience in the rain. I managed to spin off at speed into the long grass! ('Spin' was definitely the right description, as I did three or four complete turns.)

I needed a tow to get me out, but they let me finish my laps. :)
 
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st13phil

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I was lucky enough to go to a corporate event at http://www.palmersport.com/ earlier this year.
I've been lucky enough to have had two corporate days at what used to be called the Jonathan Palmer Experience (same thing, different name) and agree that they really are first-class in all respects. As you say, they are much more expensive than the run of the mill "driving experience" offerings but in my view actually offer better value for money.
 

BTB 500

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I also did a corporate day with Jonathan Palmer's lot. At the time, they said they didn't offer it to private individuals because the cost would be too high!

It was a full day, including:

kart
4x4 offroad course
Golf VR6
Single seater
Caterham
Elise
CLK
HGV with trailer
Skid pan car (E class I think?)

Good fun!

They really encouraged you to go for it, and made a big point of the cars not being fitted with rev. or power limiters (apparently quite commonplace).
 

popuptoaster

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i've done a couple of on track and an off road one, i found them very restrictive though, they keep a very close eye on how fast you go and your not allowed to push the car at all, i have more fun doing track days in 200 quid 4x4 sierra or fiesta XR2 to be honest.
 

Robbie T

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I had a good day out at Thruxton as a present a few years ago. (It was bought through buyagift.co.uk with Tesco vouchers, I believe, so v. cheap.)

I got to drive a Formula Renault single seater, which was truly an experience in the rain. I managed to spin off at speed into the long grass! ('Spin' was definitely the right description, as I did three or four complete turns.)

I needed a tow to get me out, but they let me finish my laps. :)
I did a similar one at Thruxton on Friday. It was :

3 laps in a Mazda 3 MPS, instructor driving. Basically just basic track tuition with emphasis on learning lines and entry/exit speeds.

3 laps in a Porsche Cayman, me driving. The instructor was an older guy, he treated me like i was on a driving lesson asking me to change up at 3k in third and the like. I was a little annoyed by this as my missus had spent some proper money on it just for me to drive round sedately.

4 laps in a Ferrari 355, me driving. Now this car is fantastic, nice pace to it and the instructor was excellent. The only input he gave me was a few tips about keeping to the racing line. This ended too quickly, but to drive a Fezza hard is brilliant.

5 laps in a Formula Renault, me driving (obviously). These little 1.7 engined cars are a real hoot, plenty of power for the amateur (0-60 4.5 secs!). I was passing anything on the track after the first couple of laps.

I think this experience is worth the money (£250 i think), but as others have said, it's never long enough.
 

st13phil

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I also did a corporate day with Jonathan Palmer's lot.
From your list of cars it looks like we may have been on one of our days in a similar period - at Bruntingthorpe? :)

First time I went the Caterham's were the JPE model which were completely mental. Second time they'd gone for the K-series(?) cars because people kept busting diff's on the JPE model when they spun :)

I still have a plaque for fastest time of the day in the Elise. It was just one of those drives where everything went absolutely right and I doubt I could ever repeat it. Two of the instructors had several attempts to beat my time and both failed :p
 

BTB 500

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Yes it was at Bruntingthorpe, the Caterhams we had were Superlights I think. Somebody had managed to roll a CLK there a couple of weeks before!
 

st13phil

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The VR6's had the carpet and rear seat removed, a full roll-cage fitted, an engine kill button and a brake pedal for the instructor. The instructors really encouraged you to cane the thing mercilessly. After three or four laps I found I could get a gentle drift on at three-figure speeds through the right hander at the end of the straight :)

I asked the instructor what they did with the cars at the end of the season. He told me that they were sold through the VW dealer network as one-owner, low-mileage cars. OK, so maybe they'd only done 5- or 6-thousand miles, but most of those were on the rev-limiter :eek:
 

buccal

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I was given a Supercar Experience package for my 30th. Included an Exige, Viper, Noble M12, F355 spyder and of course a SL55 AMG

Brilliant day, even managed to cook the brakes on the 55:D
 

Bobby Dazzler

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A Porsche you say?

Porsche now have a driving centre at Silverstone for potential customers. Worth a call?

Never been on one but the Porsche driving days for owners is supposed to be very good - many of the drivers on the AMG days do Porsche, and the other prestige marques, and they rate it.

If it's less about driving a Porsche, and more about driving anything, I'd say try to get a manufacturer-backed event if you want to maximise driving time.

fyonn mentioned VXR days - they are superb - but Prodrive (Subaru) and others hold similar events.
 

flango

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I tried the Maserati 4200 & Lamborghini Gallardo twice at Prestwold Hall- £99ish each. The first two visits were superb and I was intending to be a regular visitor; the third trip had an ******** instructor who insisted on grabbing the wheel & steering for me plus adding sarky comments.

I won't be going there again & will take my business elsewhere.

RH
Sorry you had a bad experience with a poor Instructor. I myself act as an Instructor for redletter days, track days high performance driving etc and it took a lot of training and experience to here. One of the first rules as an instructor is NEVER to interfere with the drivers controls so grabbing the wheel touching gears or handbrake is a very big no no and is very dangerous. I sincerely hope you reported this guy as it is people like him that make the rest of us look bad.
 

flango

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Wifes always going on about getting a Porsche for her 40th not long to go now:D and i saw an advert for driving experiences where you get to drive a few supercars for about £250 and though excellent pressy for swmbo.

So has anyone tried them or been on one similiar?, she has had a look at the ones at Brands but you get hardly any driving time.




Lynall
All depends what you want I act as an instructor on these type of events, If you are after Porsche only then Porsche Center at Silverstone, they also have their own test track there you can use as well, The Porsche experience at Rockingham is good and much cheaper. If you want to drive a few cars with decent tracktime then Donnington Supercar experience, Ferrari, Lambo, Porsche, Noble. Prodrive in West mids do a high performance course but best value for money by a mile Knockhill in Scotland long way to go but a great circuit great cars and great people you can drive everything from an e type jag to a Lambo Guillardo. The track cars are great and they will tailor the day to your needs for much less than an English circuit also makes a nice weekend away particularly if you stay in Airth Castle near the cuircuit great Hotel which is a real castle
 

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