Date: July 2008
Location: Elvington, Yorkshire
Vehicles: Aston Martin DB9, Subaru Impreza
I was bought a “drivers dream day” by my wife for a Birthday present. This was for an Aston Martin. In fact she had rung me up at work to ask what sort of car I would rather have “for a survey” in order to make sure she booked the right one for me!
Booked for Elvington in Yorkshire with no problems and the instructions were all simple and easy to follow.
We made a day of it and went to the air museum next door first (not only planes but also a local car enthusiasts rally as well on the day!) The anticipation grew through the day as the sound of loud cars was wafting over the fields and you kept getting glimpses of the various beasts racing past.
When it came to go the venue we arrived in a fenced off area of the airfield where there were a couple of tents and burger bar. At one end were a number of lines of people and the best collection of cars I have ever seen. Lamborghinis, Aston Martins, Porsche and Ferraris, as well as an Audi R8, EVO and Imprezas. It’s not that I have not seen these cars before but not so many all in the same place at the same time…
After registering and paying for the excess insurance (not included in the package and another £25 but worth it as someone spun a Lambo the week before and did a good deal of damage and with a compulsory excess in the £’000 it could make for an expensive day) it was then time to cue up for the familiarisation laps. This was a lap in a new Impreza, where we went round the track with some instructions as to looking for the markers for the breaking points etc. The track was a loop around an airfield with a zigzag on the straight. We were told that the idea was not to go all out as any dangerous driving and the drive would be stopped, and also if you took your time and listened to your instructor you would get more out of the drive and end up going faster anyway.
Then a short wait and on with my go!
Instructor was a good bloke he told me that he had been a paying customer until last year when he did reasonably well in the cars so was offered a job. Seems like a good way to earn a living at the weekend (done as a second job). The drive was fantastic. I was guided through the gears and round the track and rather than get held up by traffic was instructed to cut the corner in order to continue making good progress. If you are interested enough to be reading this I probably do not need to rave on about the Aston Martin DB9 other than to say it lived up to all my expectations (pulled up to 110 with no protestations on the straight – fantastic handling etc).
On returning to the pit area after my 3 laps I was told what mark was that I had achieved – it seems that you are assessed out of 40 in order to let you know how you have done on the track (if you get a very high mark you can be offered a job I was told) after which you go back to the registration tent to get a certificate of attendance. We passed on buying the photo pack (taken as you go round) as the wait for these to be printed was too long at the time As it was toward the end of the day the staff were happy to let us walk around the cars and take pictures, sit inside and generally salivate. I now have a good selection of “wallpaper” shots to keep me going on my computer.
All in all a great day out, if any criticism I would encourage others to book a package with a few more laps!
This was a Driving Experience review by Chris