So recently we have discovered my Mum hates surprises! For Christmas my Dad surprised my Mum with a track day at Thruxton Race Circuit, which I helped him to arrange, to then be surprised with the same present! He chose for us to do the Porsche Cayman Thrill which we were both really looking forward to. You can only book at certain times so we decided to book as soon as we could and went for the 19th March.
We all drove up to Thruxton together, Me, Mum, Dad, Dave and my Brother. It took us a couple of hours to get there and we arrived in plenty of time. We parked up and went over to the registration office where we were met with an office full of people, including Tiff Needell! Turns out he is usually at the track on a Saturday running his BMW Experience.
We signed in and were told to come back just before our briefing, so we went off to the cafe for a cup of tea and some lunch. The cafe backed on to the track so we had a chance to see some of the cars coming out of the pits and on to the track. This also gave us some time to have a look at the of the other cars used in the other experiences and also spot the Porsches we were going to drive.
Our briefing soon came round and we were told what we needed to do whilst out on track. At this point we became a little nervous! We left the briefing with a good idea of what to do and which lines to take out on the track. From here Dad, Dave and my Brother Adam left to go and get a good spot for spectating whilst we went to get ready. First we were taken out on the track in a new Skoda Octavia VRS for three laps and given some idea of what to do, the speed we should be going, our gear changes and breaking and how to follow the cones marked out in the racing line. When we got back we waited for the first people that went out to come back and soon we were stepping into our cars.
We were given cards to give to our instructors who would mark our scores as we went round, something we found a bit daunting! We strapped ourselves in to our separate cars and off we went! Mine was a newer Porsche meaning it wasn’t a manual like I was used to, this one was an automatic paddle shift. Having never driven an automatic before the instructor gave me a quick run down, pull the right paddle to go up a gear and press the left to go down the gears. His main point was to put my left foot on the foot rest and DO NOT MOVE IT FROM THERE! As we left the pit lane the nerves mounted but there was no turning back. The instructor I had was great and explained everything as we went around the track and made me feel very at ease. Soon my confidence grew and I managed to pick up my speed reaching 100 mph. Some parts were quite nerve wracking especially when cars already out on track came flying up behind you, I did however manage to over take my Mum, giving her a little wave as we whizzed by – sorry Mum!
Before we knew it we were finishing our final lap – you get to go round four time which goes so quickly, by the time you’ve got the hang of it it’s over, I suppose this is to entice to you come back again! Before you leave the car they tell you how well you did by marking your score card. You are rated out of 10 on things such as steering, gear change, approach, lines, breaking and pace, my highest score being for my gear changes. You are then rated on your cornering of the track out of 5 and then your general driving total is calculated, my overall score was 75% out of 100% which I thought was pretty good seeing as I have never driven out on a track before.
Mum and I thoroughly enjoyed our day at Thruxton and would recommend it to any one that has an interest in cars, whatever your experience, all they ask is that you have a full valid driving license. I would been very keen to do this again and think it makes a great present or surprise for anyone.
I’ll leave you all with a picture of me on one of my laps, seemingly steering with my head!