Friday, March 02, 2012

Driving Experience - Staffordshire Activity Centre - 8th February 2012

My step father, David, is a very generous man. This generosity lead him to kindly purchase a driving experience for himself, my brother and I when he saw a good offer on Groupon.

The offer said that we had the choice of driving two out of three cars, the three cars being a Ferrari F360, and Audi R8 and a Porsche 911. Obviously 911's are plebs cars so we all chose the Ferrari and the Audi and the event was booked for February 8th.

My brother picked us up in his nice shiny new Porsche Cayenne which was nice, and meant we flew over to the Staffordshire Activity Centre in comfort and in no time at all.

When we arrived we registered and had a coffee while watching the cars and waiting for out turn.

There were quite a few nice motors there. A Ferrari F360 Coupe and an F360 Spider. An Audi R8, a Lamborghini Gallardo, an Aston Martin DB9, a Mitsubishi Evo, a Subaro Impreza Turbo and a Lotus Exige that was being used to take people for a ride round the circuit driven by an instructor.

We waited for about 30 minutes before it was our turn in the Ferrari F360 Spider.
The Ferrari was the car we were all looking forward to driving the most, but what struck us all as we climbed in was just how dated it looked inside. Still, it's a Ferrari so who cares. :-)


Problem number 2 was that the brake and the accelerator were VERY close together and there was so little room for my right foot that I was having to press the accelerator with the side of my foot to stop me pressing the brake as well.


Not to worry though. Off we went. The instructor and I onto the track.


I was worried that the instructor would be telling us to be careful but no. His constant shouts of "Don't change up yet" and "You're braking too early" were encouraging you to go faster each lap. This added up to a great deal of fun on the 6 laps of the track in the Ferrari.


Apart from the pedal issue the car was amazing. So fast and responsive. Sticking to the road like it was on rails. In a word stunning. My brother and David both thought the same.


Next was the Audi R8. I didn't think it would be anywhere near as much fun as the Ferrari to be honest but as soon as I sat inside and saw the modern interior and the far superior driving position and pedal arrangement I started to change my mind.


Setting off with a different instructor who thankfully still yelled go faster encouragement at me, I was immediately at home in the Audi, much more so than the Ferrari. This meant that I could enjoy the car straight away and therefore have more fun.


The Audi was also stunning, although in a different, more accessible way than the Ferrari, and once again I had 6 laps of great fun. At the end of it we all agreed that the R8 was better to drive and given the choice would be the car we all went for were we 'in the market' so to speak. A conclusion none of us were expecting.


Once we had all driven the Audi our driving experience was over and it was time to head back towards Sheffield, stopping at Rowleys for a spot of lunch.


What a great day out. Cheers Dave. :-)


Pictures are available here.

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