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Old 21st September 2015, 12:39   #31
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Default Re: BIC Arrive & Drive - Drive VW Polo Cup cars at Buddh, every Saturday!

I went for the BIC VW Polo Cup Arrive and Drive recently. Here's my experience:
Please note, it was my first time ever on the BIC.

1) Registration and other formalities are fairly simple. Rs. 12k for a 20 minute session, Rs. 17k for a 45 minute session. Obviously, the 45 minute session is recommended as you will take 2-3 laps in just knowing the track. Following proper lines comes later.
Deposit of Rs. 10k is charged on your credit/ debit card, which is returned to you once your done with your session. I think you can pay this too by cash.
You need to fill out an indemnity form, they photocopy your Driving Licence and also fill out the Polo Arrive and Drive form. This whole process takes about 15 minutes max.

2) You can take your friends/ family along right into the pits via a 'Photographer Pass', worth Rs. 150/Each.

3) Next step is to go to the 'Team Building 1' to collect your helmet. Helmet rental Rs. 200/Each, and Rs. 1000 as security deposit. The car I drove had 2 seats, so a friend joined me as passenger.

4) You can now chill in the pits/ race area until an announcement is made for your drive.

5) Upon announcement, walk yourself to the nearby race control room where you are briefed about the track, flags, dos-donts, and general track safety. This takes about 15 minutes. After this, you're good to go.

When I drove, there were about 5 other drivers for the Polo Cup cars, and 2 drivers with their own cars. It was amazing to see that 3 of the 7 people driving during our session on the track were 25-30 year old girls. Hats off!

6) Our cars were parked in Garage 7, so we walked there, and the sight of so many race-prepped VW Cup cars gives you a shot of adrenaline, and also prepares you to knowing that this is a serious sport.
1.6L TDI engine, with a Pipercross intake, free flow exhaust, 130 bhp, 250 N-m torque, 17: forged rims with 200 section low profile wet weather race tyres, lowered, adjustable Sachs suspension, and a brake setup straight off the Golf! Also, a proper 6 speed manual.

We chose our car depending on how compatible they were for fit. They come with bolted seats and the steering strangely does not adjust for reach, so find a car with a seat setup that suits you.

7) Squeezing in through the FIA spec roll-cage, we buckled in into the 4 point safety harness and proper racing seat for both driver and passenger, I flicked the aircraft style flip switch open and flicked the switch to ON. Turned the regular key and switched on the car. First impression: Its loud, and you can feel the vibrations throughout the car and your seat. Its feels nothing like the stock road car. Its naked inside, no carpets, headliner, floor center console. Its pure metal and cables and wire. We were asked to idle our cars for about 5 minutes to warm up the engines, and then we setup in formation in the pit lane for a 'Sighting Lap'.

8) Slowly exiting the pit lane, we were on the trace for the first time. We were supposed to follow the lead car as it showed us the lines across the track. The lead car was not being driven too fast nor too slow, so we got a feel of the speeds we would be doing on the track. On the back straight, we maxed out at 165 kmph even on the sighting lap. After one full sighting lap (basically 2 laps), the lead car exited into the pit lane and we were good to go!

9) So it begins with a full throttle section that is the start-finish line. The Polo Cup cars are highly technical go-karts. The suspension is stiff, handling is perfect and the brakes are amazing. So amazing, that in the first too laps, I found myself braking in way too early before the corner and then accelerating into it again. The car is a sharp handler, and being used to it (I drive a slightly tuned VW Vento 1.6TDI) helped matters a lot. The torque comes in way more aggressively, and the lack of damping of any sort brings you into proper race mode.

10) 45 minutes is a fair amount of time, especially when you're not used to Delhi heat. Being a race car, obviously the car dint come with the AC or fan blower. Use this time to go faster, brake later, turn-in quicker, hit apexes, flick harder and try to push man and machine to its limit. Trust me, its a great experience, and also will be an eye opener to many. Driving fast on the street is one thing (I never do it and do not advise anyone to do it), driving on the track is another. It was amazing to see fellow Team-Bhpians and VW enthusiasts on the track. Its an awesome track culture, something that is possible only in Delhi.

11) We spun twice during the entire session, went sideways multiple times. Our spins were small and were under control. It was just an example of wrong driving, mid-corner corrections is something you avoid, is what i learnt from them. We did not crash into anything/anyone, ALL damage costs are recovered from you. eg. You crash and the damage is worth 1.2 lacs, 10k goes off your deposit and you need to pay the balance 1.1 lac. However, crashing is not that easy, and will mostly happen if youre doing something stupid or not respecting man machine limitations. If its a multi-party crash, thats something else.

12) Once your session is complete, red flags are signalled and you drive into the pits the next time you cross it. We just crossed the pits when the red flags came on so we got an additional cool-down lap. I took the opportunity to test how tractable the 1.6TDI and 6 speed manual is. Result: This gearbox suits the engine way better than the stock 5-speed. You can use the torque much better, and you can find yourself in the meat of the power at all times. Maybe, its just the track driving.

13) Drive into the pits, and park your car. Your session is complete. Walk with your helmet to 'Team Building 1' to return it, and then to their office for your deposit refund. Youre done.

Remember to hang in there to see other crazy bikers, car guys battle themselves out. We were lucky to be present on the day when the Delhi supercar and superbike guys were in full force. So we had everything from a KTM to a Ferrari, so it was a day well spent.

Use the track to satisfy your apetite for speed and thrill. Drive responsibly, things can get horribly wrong. Remember, its a sport, not a joyride, so respect yours as well as others safety. Learn something each time you drive there and most importantly, leave the racing to the track, dont bring it on the streets.

Last edited by satya180 : 21st September 2015 at 12:40.
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Old 4th May 2016, 15:05   #32
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Default Re: BIC Arrive & Drive - Drive VW Polo Cup cars at Buddh, every Saturday!

Anyone been recently? Fear they have shut this down.
No response from Buddh on email/phone..
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