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Old 29th November 2009, 17:28   #1
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Default Inhale, Exhale, Exige

Another raid on the UK, I planned my leave not based on work but on when the next "Experience" session in Thruxton would be!

Have been there five years ago and drove a Ferrari. This time around, it was time for something different! My choices were

Audi R8 - tempting
Aston Martin - Appetising
Porsche Turbo - tasty - but this is November so expect the worst
Lambo - It is a big truck IMHO
Ferrari Stradiale or a 348 - yawn- have done Ferrari's

Issue was you spend 3 laps in a mazda 3 for orientation, 4 laps in a Cayman (very nice) then 4 laps in the beast of your choice

This meant one needed to spend half one's time getting oriented to the car.

Then I spotted the 1:1 experience - either a Mazda Miata or RX8 ( slightly underwhelming) or an Exige (Bulls Eye). - Ths involves 17 laps - 3 orientation, 2 sets of 7 laps + 1 lap of high speed ride (more fun!)

Rang the UK to book it - sorry sir, on the 8.30 slot is available. I book it but hiccups occured as my card would not go through but they kindly held my slot while I did a bank transfer. Tricky as they do not give refunds!

Plan was to do this, see how I fare and then pay for a drive in an R8 later on

DDay arrived. Landed in England at UK worst worst weather, icy rains, dark clouds. Night before had been enjoying London at its best. Needed an early start to get there at 8.15.

Woke at 6.00 and was on the road by 7.00. Switch on to Radio 4 to listen to the Farmers daily - oh my god, near cyclonic rainstorms expected in the south of the UK. I get on the M25 and then you feel the wind. YOu look ahead and you see black murky clouds. I could barely maintain 70mph and later took it easy.

This cost me time. Reached 10 min late but they pushed me in the briefing room. Basicaly it is a audio visual presentation + q&A afterwards. We were then taken outside and the instructors were waiting. The supercar lot were taken to the Mazda's, the plain vanilla Cayman experience were taken to the cars direct for the orientation. Also on offer was a high speed ride in an RX8 (free for me) and 4 laps in a 348 driven by a race driver - tempting!

Was introduced to Mike - there are two drivers allocated - one drives for 7 laps and then takes a break while the next person takes over and this repeats. As I had my camera etc with me, I decided to go second (also to let car warm up!).

I go to the viewing platform - I am freezing in a sweater + thin shoes for the drive. The light is appalling except for the odd appearance from the clouds.

I watch the supercars rumble and go for a drive to warm up. They park, it is windy and drizzly so no bonnets open

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I go to the car and dump camera with a view to video and take pics later. I am freezing so I go in and wait in the cabin. The 9.30 batc h arrive so it is crowded. 10 min later, I go out and see the red lotus pull in.
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Weather is improving. I get into the passenger seat. Boy, it is hell getting in. The sill is high, you need to get your legs in then sink your butt into a bootom less pit. When you reach the bottom, you find your head barely touches the top. Mike takes me around and warns me that what is usually the best car on the track is worst in wet weather.

3 laps later, I slap a helmet on and take the drivers seat. It is cosy but everything falls to hand. Interiors are pretty crude and iffy. I take off, Toyota's finest roars, the wind roars, the road roars and Mike calls out.

Gears selection is short if notchy, ride - you don't talk about this in a race car, brakes are direct, steering is very direct. However, you can hardly see out and Mike keeps the mirror focussed for his vision. I take the first two laps easy and power on. Wet track means I would have touched approx 140 max

Downshifting twice in a 100 metres was cool and also the double chicane. OOhh boy, I was loving it and geting into it but then my 7 laps were over so time for a break.

Break over and I slip in and the clouds darken and there is light rain. This session was recorded. Screen capture below
Inhale, Exhale, Exige-screencapture.png

I take off and hit the bends and feel the car about to brake away. I power on and the rain starts. What I discovered in the first session was that the wiper was awful. I try pushing without the wipers and then realise that I need to switch it on. The smearing slows me down and am having dificulty multitasking between reading traction, poor visibility and instructions. The Ferraris pass at high speeds - they have plenty of nanny devices.

Last two laps come up, wiper seems to clear the smear and I push hard. It comes out well.

"Not bad considering the conditons" spoke Mike. We swap seats and we go for a wild ride. He drifts the car and shows what could be done before the car bites back.

It's over and time for the RX8 ride. There is a queue under a canopy. The RX8 comes in like a maniac drops, picks up and cuts into others like an Indicab. The rain pours down big time. The supercars are driving like sunday drivers

My turn comes and then am told to hold on - conditions are too rough ...and a Ferrari spun off big time. All cars come in and the drivers wait. 20 min later no joy. i then hear someone being told, it will take another hour or you can come another day. The 10.30 batch are arriving and it is mayhem.

It is freezing. If I go in , I lose my place. One hour for a couple of minutes ride. I think not. I get drenched getting into the Focus and drive home. Conditions are appaling and the Focus gets upset with the still water puddles streaming across. All the Audis and BMW's merely glide by.

All in all, it was a good day but the weather did dampen things. Would have made a great rally day!

Last edited by ajmat : 15th August 2016 at 12:32.
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Old 29th November 2009, 17:55   #2
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You have the video? Please upload to U tube then

This is a real vacation! You lucky man!
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Old 29th November 2009, 19:46   #3
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wow, what an experience! The writeup was good too.

Could you please upload the video on you tube?

seems like the number of t-bhpians going to thruxton is increasing. I hope to do this too someday
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Old 29th November 2009, 20:22   #4
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Fantastic! Really awesome! Congrats!

As Jaggu said, please upload the video to youtube
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Old 29th November 2009, 20:48   #5
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I can understand your frustration about the weather. When it is cold and raining out there in Europe, it makes a very very bad day. I hate going out in such weather, it takes away all the happiness from you!

Anyway, nice to read about your track experience and I too hope I can make it one day. I'll pray for a good sunny day if at all I can manage to get there!
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Old 30th November 2009, 12:58   #6
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You always seem to have a blast on track days ajmat. Reading this brought back memories of your previous thread. Pushing that small Lotus around that track must be quite an experience. Too bad the weather stopped you from getting into the R8. Nice pictures but as always there is only one car that catches my attention - The Ferrari 355

Waiting for the video link.

I also see some open wheeled racers in the background of one of the pics. Are they available to drive as well?
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Old 30th November 2009, 13:08   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dippy View Post
You always seem to have a blast on track days ajmat. Reading this brought back memories of your previous thread. Pushing that small Lotus around that track must be quite an experience. Too bad the weather stopped you from getting into the R8. Nice pictures but as always there is only one car that catches my attention - The Ferrari 355

Waiting for the video link.

I also see some open wheeled racers in the background of one of the pics. Are they available to drive as well?


The 355 was avaialbe to drive, there was also the option of being driven 4 laps in this by a race driver. The open wheel racers are also avaialble. I had a go last time around. I would have been screwed in that weather
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Old 30th November 2009, 14:48   #8
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So getting into the Exige was like assuming the Lotus position eh?

See the Lotus, Feel the Lotus, Be the Lotus. lol.

Like everyone else can't wait to see the video.
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Old 30th November 2009, 14:54   #9
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Why cant such a model ever be made to work in India ?!
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Old 30th November 2009, 15:12   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
Why cant such a model ever be made to work in India ?!
Maga, you + model = heavy rain
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Old 30th November 2009, 16:17   #11
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It has an Alpine HU! A thread we youngsters ought to post (I can see ajmat still grinning )

Ajmat; the cost and other details please.


I am waiting for another TBHPians post ; this time he was gifted a track day in LP 640

Quote:
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Maga, you + model = heavy rain

Last edited by Rehaan : 30th November 2009 at 20:34. Reason: Additional line from deleted duplicate post added here.
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Old 30th November 2009, 16:24   #12
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Fantastic, must have been fun. Pity about the weather though. If you don't mind could you tell us what it cost (or you could pm me).
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Old 30th November 2009, 16:29   #13
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I think it cost him 230 GBP.

Thruxton Driving Experience. Drive Lotus, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Aston Martin, Racing Cars and Mazda. Official Thruxton Motorsport Centre Website.
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Old 30th November 2009, 18:51   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
Maga, you + model = heavy rain
Driving in the rain = FUN = drifting

Last edited by theMAG : 30th November 2009 at 19:00.
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