DriverMan went to Silverstone on Friday to sample the Silverstone Single seater Experience. This is how he got on.
Checking in was smooth enough but a tad slow and although there was a small facility for tea and coffee the inability to take debit cards meant quite a few guests went thirsty while watching the drivers. Still a small gripe and soon enough DriverMan was called for a pre track briefing. A nice touch was that the announcer said the briefing would take 28 minutes and 42 seconds! the point that precision was everything was made early on!
The brief had a strong emphasis on safety, covering safety rules, driving techniques and a touch of self promotion as it emphasised the thrill and excitement of the event. The emphasis on safety upped the ante and DriverMan got both excited and apprehensive as the brief went on.
Next stop was collecting the family members and kitting up. The spectators were allowed to enjoy a pit walk, see the cars close up and watch the drivers get settled into the cars. All good stuff which added to the occasion! Getting into the car, doing the pre race checks, adjusting the seat, working through the gears etc. all built up the excitement and this was evident in DriverMans "coiled spring" body language. Before long the spectators left the pit lane, the cars were fired up and they were off.
The Drivers did a good ten minutes behind the Renault Megane RS 250 safety cars before pitting to rejig the driver order and go out once more behind the safety cars, this time at a faster pace. Finally the drivers were unleashed on their own.
Talking to Driverman afterwards he said, "The track was wet, the car skittish, the rear end very wanton and the gear change was very fierce. Very quickly I found myself stuck behind a slower car but eventually he was blue flagged and I was able to overtake. Open track followed and very quickly I was up to faster speeds though in truth with the combination of wet conditions and short sections between corners, 96mph was the fastest speed I managed. Trust me though on a small wet track that was pretty fast."
DriverMan continues, " Before I knew it I was the new Lewis Hamilton, an old hand at the game. That is until I exited the chicane, put the power on too soon, watched my rear end overtake me and spun off! That brought me down to earth and I took the next couple of laps very gingerly as I didn't want the marshalls pulling me in for an early bath."
All too soon the fun was over and the cars returned to the pits. When DriverMan got out of the car the adrenalin was still pumping, his left foot ached from working the clutch and his back hurt too. More importantly though his face ached from the huge grin that was spread across it. It clearly is a great experience, well managed with good safety provision built in.
Would you do it again I asked him. " You bet I would!"
Categories: Car Events 2010