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Old 12th October 2009, 14:26   #1
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Default Lamborghini Murcielago LP670 SV4 !!, Formula Renault and a drive with Tiff Needell!

Just returned last week from Europe. First stop was Germany ( visited Frankfurt for the Motor Show and Stuttgart for the Mercedes-Benz and Porsche museums - will include that on a separate thread )

Next stop was London. We had made a reservation for a 'Track Experience' at the Thruxton circuit. The experience we chose was the Lamborghini Murcielago LP670 SV4!!! Yes, they have made only 100 of these and #23 is at Thruxton!! We had made the reservation over a month in advance, and trust me, that one month was more agony and anxiety than the month I waited for my new car!!

The date we had booked was 2nd October. I must have barely slept the previous night. It was 7:00 AM on a cold London morning when we left. The trip to Thruxton is about 125 km which we covered in about an hour and a half in our rented Volkswagen Golf Estate.The weather was absolutely perfect! We reached Thruxton at 8:40 am and it was 9 degrees, but bright and sunny! We parked our car and the first thing we see outside the registration booth are the supercars for todays experiences - The LP670, Ferrari F430 Scuderia, Ferrari F430 and the Aston Martin V8 Vantage!! I couldnt believe that I would be driving the LP670 a few minutes later!!

The experience starts with regsitration followed by a briefing and a presentation. This is where braking and cornering techniques are explained along with track etiquette ( there are many cars on the track simultaneously, and we are all here to enjoy the cars, stricltly no racing! ) We are divided into groups of 3 each. Each group has to report to a certain instructor outside who is standing beside a Mazda3 MPS. Mind you, this rather plane-jane looking hatch puts out a whopping 240 bhp!! The instructor took us around the circuit for 3 laps and familiarised us with the curves ( Thruxton has no straights!!, just long curves and chicanes! ) and also with using the cones ( placed strategically to tell us when to brake, turn and accelerate ) so that we dont fly off the track and become a part of the English countryside!

The next step is to drive a Porsche Cayman around the circuit for 4 laps. This is the first car that the 'pupil' gets to drive! The instructor sat besides me with my 'report card' and was correcting me where I was going wrong. The Cayman is a great car to drive ( It was a stick shift and good fun too! ) but it felt a tad underpowered on the wide track. It tok a couple of laps to get familiarised with the circuit. After that, I just knew how late I could hit the brakes and what speed I could take into the turns. 4 laps were done and helmet off.

As I got out of the Porsche, I realised that they had already kept the Murcielago ready for me!! There she stood, in all her splendid glory. One of the most beautiful cars I have ever seen! ( the others being the Reventon and the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL gullwing )I have always been a huge Lamborghini fan since childhood ( thats the reason I chose this experience, and not the Ferrari experience ), and today was my day! The most powerful Lamborghini built till date.The Super Veloce! Richard Hammond, on Top Gear said '' Look at that exhaust, if a Toyota Prius were to come up behind that, it would literally wet its pants!! '' Just 100 cars built, and one was in front of me!! This is it! The last Murcielago ever built! And I was about to drive her!!

I waited besides the beast till the instructor came up to me and introduced himself. Before getting in, he warned me about not being too 'right foot heavy' as these cars are designed to be driven well, and the slightest bit of rashness would kill both of us! Also, the seat is acually a lot lower than it appears to be, and you can easily knock your head against the lower part of the door when getting in! Once in, he adjusted my seat and familiarised me with the controls. My hands were literally shaking! I put on a pair of gloves while he came over and sat on the passenger seat. He then handed over the keys to me. MAN!!!! what a feeling!!! ''Fire her up!'' he said, and I followed. The sound I heard from behind me still rings in my ears 75,000 times a day! The roar of that V12 is simply astounding! Words cannot describe the joy, ecstacy, excitement, fear and a whole lot of other emotions running through my mind at that time!

With a slight tug on the right panel, she moved into 1st and we were off! The Murcielago is a very intimidating car, to say the least, but when inside, you almost feel like a part of the car itself. 30 mph is the speed limit through the pit lane in 2nd gear and as soon as we were out, 'Step on it' was the call from the instructor, and I opened the throttle. Woooohooo!! what an amazing feeling!! Six hundred and seventy horses under my right foot!! I have driven fast cars before ( 911 Turbo, CLS55AMG, Subaru Impreza STI, CL 55 AMG etc, ) but nothing, and I mean, nothing, comes CLOSE to this! Everytime I pulled the right paddle to upshift, it sends this shudder through the entire car and the gear moves up in a fraction of a second. I was so focussed on the road that I do not recall what speed I touched. However, they dont let you push the car too hard, for obvious reasons! On the 4th lap, going into a turn, the instructor was telling me how well these cars hold the road, if driven well. He then pointed at the speedo and showed me that I was doing close to 160 kph going into a turn! There was no screeching of tyres whatsoever! 4 Laps in the Lamborghini and it was time to return to the pits. It was over so quick! I wish I could do another 40 laps!

Out of the Lamborghini and it was now time for the last car. The Formula Renault single seater. I was geared up and ready to go! ( Racing shoes, gloves and helmet ) Getting into the car is quite a challenge. There is practically no seat inside. The body is moulded to the shape of your posture and a huge piece of sponge is placed behind your back to prevent any injury. I was then strapped in so tight that I could barely move my shoulders! The feeling of sitting inside a Formula 3 car is brilliant! It almost feels like being an F1 driver. Steeting clamped on and I was ready to go. This one doesnt have paddle shift. Instead there is this small, 3 inch long gear lever on my right. It is a 4 speed 'H' shift, just like a Maruti 800 without reverse. The clutch, brake and throttle are so close to each other that it is almost difficult to press one without getting your foot on the other. Unlike anything I have ever driven before, the clutch is like an 'on/off' switch. It is either on or off. You cannot release the clutch gradually and accelerate. It has to be released suddenly. This causes the car to jerk quite a bit in the 1st and 2nd gear. Once in 3rd, its smooth. Out of the pit lane at 30 mph and I floored her! The car is loud as hell! You can feel every small bump on the track but she is an absolute joy to drive! I could feel the chilly wind seeping in through every little opening in the helmet and hitting my face but I couldnt care less! Visibility is absolutely fantastic and I could have driven an inch away from the edge of a mountain and not had a worry on my mind! The clutch is hard, the brakes lac feel ( but have good stopping power ) and the throttle is super sensitive. Its almost like pulling the whistle on a pressure cooker.This car does not have a speedometer so I dont know what speed I touched. It does have a tachometer and the car is limited to 4500 rpm, but who cares? It is so much fun!! 5 laps in the car and it was time to return again. The smile on my face when I got out was worth looking at! Honestly, with due respece to the awesome Lamborghini, this car was more 'fun' to drive.

Once out. I took some time off and stood on the podium to watch the other people doing their laps. There was a Lotus, a Ferrari F355, the awesome 430's, an Aston Martin, Audi R8 and a Porsche 997 turbo.

A little while later I remembered that during the briefing in the morning, they had mentioned that Tiff Needell will be here later today and we could meet him. Also, for a small fee, you could sit besides him while he would take you for 'Fast Laps' in a new BMW M3. I went back to the registration booth and paid up for that as well. 2 minutes later I was standing in front of Tiff Needell!! As a kid, I watched Tiff Needell tear up supercars on BBC's top gear, and now I watch him on Fifth Gear. The man is a living legend. A former Formula 1 driver ( he raced for the Ensign team in 1980 ) and a Le Mans driver, he is an absolute gem of a person to talk to. Once again, I could not beleive all this was happening. First the LP670, then the Formula Renault, and now, Tiff Needell!!

I need not describe what happened next as it is all on video. Please click on the link to watch:


All in all, the best day of my life! And one that I will never forget. Never. Ever.

I have also posted pictures for all to see.
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Old 12th October 2009, 14:29   #2
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You must lived your entire life out there in one day Gautam. Fantastic Report and pictures. Going shot gun with the man himself Tiff must be out of this world. Well done pal. Now thats an experience to have.

Any videos of the Lambo?
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Old 12th October 2009, 14:35   #3
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Sorry! Unfortunately they could not rig the Lambo with cameras, so no video of that!
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Old 12th October 2009, 15:11   #4
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Thumbs up fantastic

woooo hooooo.. fantastic experience.

by the way how much you paid for THE experience?
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Old 12th October 2009, 15:21   #5
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all i can say is WOW!
Lucky guy!
and very nicely written experience, pics and vid.
thanks for sharing it with us!
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Old 12th October 2009, 15:27   #6
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Thats a life to live. Congrats
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Old 12th October 2009, 15:32   #7
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Yep CLS_55_AMG,
I am envy on you man.
simply rocking.Lambooooooooooooo

I am in Frankfurt right now and have a plan to visit Stuttgart for the Mercedes-Benz and Porsche museums.

Enjoy and Drive Safe
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Old 12th October 2009, 15:34   #8
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The Lamborghini experience is 375 and the drive with Tiff Needell was another 99. Honestly, looking back at it now, it would have been worth even twice that amount! lol
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Old 12th October 2009, 15:47   #9
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Mind blowing, you got the best of all worlds i think, the only thing better would be owning any of these fast cars and the ability to track them whenever you want.

This seems like a very reasonably priced experience, I wonder if you could pay for Lambo and Ferrari for the same day. I am going ahead and doing this next summer or fall for sure

Is Tiff there every so often, or some designated dates? I wonder if there is any experience where Tiff will instruct you, that would be to die for.

Last edited by 1Day : 12th October 2009 at 15:49.
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Old 12th October 2009, 15:49   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CLS_55_AMG View Post
The Lamborghini experience is 375 and the drive with Tiff Needell was another 99. Honestly, looking back at it now, it would have been worth even twice that amount! lol
totally worth it man... my sister had gifted one such ferrari driving experience 2 years ago, and i still remember he was unable to sleep the previous night and didnt sleep for so many following night. I couldnt get time off and hence was unable to join him.
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Old 12th October 2009, 15:53   #11
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Woohoo, that is some mindblowing experience you had!

Drives and memories for a lifetime! Nice pics and writeup. This is the first time i've heard of this trackday and now I wish I can do it sometime in my life.

I got so engrossed in it, I didn't hear my boss call out right behind me Your post though wow'ed her too, so i'm off the hook!
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Old 12th October 2009, 15:59   #12
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Oh man!! 375GBP is cheap for that experience!

You are one lucky lucky lucky guy! Congrats!

I once had an opportunity to just sit shotgun in a Gallardo and that one and a half years ago and I can still hear the roar of the Lambo in my head! I doubt you can get that Super Veloce road out of your head in your lifetime!
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Old 12th October 2009, 16:02   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Day View Post
Mind blowing, you got the best of all worlds i think, the only thing better would be owning any of these fast cars and the ability to track them whenever you want.

This seems like a very reasonably priced experience, I wonder if you could pay for Lambo and Ferrari for the same day. I am going ahead and doing this next summer or fall for sure

Is Tiff there every so often, or some designated dates? I wonder if there is any experience where Tiff will instruct you, that would be to die for.
Yes they do have an 'Ultimate Supercar Experience' which includes the Ferrari, Porsche and Lamborghini. See it at Driving Experiences with Thruxton Motorsport Centre in Hampshire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gomzi View Post
Woohoo, that is some mindblowing experience you had!

Drives and memories for a lifetime! Nice pics and writeup. This is the first time i've heard of this trackday and now I wish I can do it sometime in my life.

I got so engrossed in it, I didn't hear my boss call out right behind me Your post though wow'ed her too, so i'm off the hook!
hahahahah!! Nice to hear that!
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Old 13th October 2009, 10:40   #14
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I did gthe Ferrari 360 experience back in 2002. Thruxton is the best value beleive me!
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Old 13th October 2009, 11:12   #15
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beautifully written, nice video! Almost felt as if I were there - should do something similar before I'm 60!
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