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OT: Driving "Experience" days

secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,617
edited December 2015 in Commuting chat
Mrs SecretSam is after a driving day / experience as a pressie for her upcoming birthday, and was wondering if you all had any recommendations? We live in Bucks so somewhere not too far would be good. She's not that fussed about what type of car, but would like to drive on a proper track quite quickly, with instruction.

It's just a hill. Get over it.

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  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    I did one near Bicester at Upper Heyford, just down the road from you; we bought the voucher in Debenhams in MK iirc, the booking process allows selection of suitable dates & locations across the UK.

    Make sure you know what you've paid for - I sat through the driver briefing beforehand paying close attention to the 'don't go mad on the introductory laps or you won't be let loose later', so held back in anticipation of giving it some beans on the main run only to find that my package was for being driven round in a Scooby for a couple of laps then 4 laps in the Ferrari. Gutted...

    TBH it wasn't that great, I had more fun being co-pilot in a bare-shell Escort 2.0 in the 80s doing Motoring News & East Mids road rallies.

    ETA if she fancies something more of that nature The London Rally School nr Stratton Audley has a couple of bare shell Escorts and a lot of space for chucking them around. I once stopped for a chat when a big yellow one appeared at the gate as I passed and the youth who runs it was a v personable fellow who knew what he was doing. Worth a punt I'd have thought.
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,992
    I've thought about doing these as well, and have witnessed friends doing some at Silverstone and brands hatch, but never had the joy.

    One way to make it cheaper is to look at the red letter days etc map of where the events are, and then find on google maps the actual course in the area - Then contact them direct.
    We found that RLD typically added 20% on top of the going directly fees,
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  • PufftmwPufftmw Posts: 1,941
    Try Bedford Autodrome

    http://www.bedfordautodrome.co.uk/

    They have a variety of options on what is near enough a proper race track and not an airfield with cones. Its wide open so the chances of hitting something is low.

    I've done a number of track days there over time and have always enjoyed the venue and staff.

    A bit further away is Rockingham Raceway - http://www.rockingham.co.uk/driving-experiences/
  • another for Bedford Autodrome, the Jonathan Palmer school instructors encourage you to use more throttle and less brakes, so great fun is guaranteed, not cheap but if she really wants to go fast it's the place to do it, also just up the road really.
  • CAT Driver Training at Millbrook is very good. Actually teaches you how to drive quickly, safely, and is pretty good fun into the bargain. Probably more tuition-based than fun-based overall though.
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  • The general view is that Palmer Sport is top of the list, I've mates who've done others and said the instructors were keen not to let you thrash the cars, the former seem to shout at you if you don't keep your foot down. It is pricey though, that said one client who did it the other year was stuck for a lift back to London so Jonathan Palmer gave him a lift in his Helicopter, now that's service...
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  • The general view is that Palmer Sport is top of the list, I've mates who've done others and said the instructors were keen not to let you thrash the cars, the former seem to shout at you if you don't keep your foot down. It is pricey though, that said one client who did it the other year was stuck for a lift back to London so Jonathan Palmer gave him a lift in his Helicopter, now that's service...

    As an experienced racing driving myself, I would recommend PalmerSport. As above, not cheap, but superb. If you go "off season" it can be cheaper. I've done a couple of their days and they are great. I did some others but they are a bit Mickey Mouse.
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  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 52,652 Lives Here
    Palmer sports FTW.
  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 4,614
    I got the other half a Red Letter Day one a few years back and did it at Mallory Park and she enjoyed it. She likes cars but not really in a boy racer/mechanic way.

    The Red Letter Day ones are convenient - you just get a voucher and can pick a date and a location yourself. When we went there to watch, they had spaces on other driving experiences on that day which they were selling off cheap.

    Quidco are currently doing 24% cashback on Red Letter Day experiences - might make it cheap!
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,617

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 52,652 Lives Here
    For the win.
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,617

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • I wouldnt bother with the Red letter ones and ones you buy in shops as a friend has done a couple and not been that impressed. One was at an airfield and in the Ferrari he drove at the end wasnt evem allowed to go over 7k rpm as was told there is no need, lol. Best to contact a track directly and ask what tuition they can provide. Bedford autodrome looks like a decent and fun track to drive.
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