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Which Track To Go To For A Driving Experience?
(74 posts, started )
#1 - Jakg
Which Track To Go To For A Driving Experience?
My parents have bought me a (no flaming pl0x) "Caterham Drift Experience" for my birthday. The official blurb thing says that it's a full day of drifting from 9-5 through a company called "Experience More".

I have the choice of either Brands Hatch, Silverstone or Elvington - and i'm not sure which to go for.

Brands Hatch is 91.4 miles away, whereas Silverstone is 116 miles away - i'm guessing Elvington is even further away, though...

I *think* this is the thing that they have bought - http://www.caterham.co.uk/assets/html/experience/drift.html

Although they are labelled as being the tracks themselves, from the video I found it seems like it's just in a big car-park.
#2 - 5haz
Yeah its drifting round cones in a car park, so I'd reccomend Silverstone as they have a massive great big runway to let you loose on (I've seen them throwing Caterhams about there).
if you want laps, and a good laugh go to brands, also its only a few miles from me so if you wanna meet up we can if you want
#4 - sam93
You normally only get 30minutes of driving, not even that on these type of days.
Why couldn't snetterton have been an option, you would be laughing then!
#6 - Jakg
Well it turns out the only weekend slot they have is the 18th of October in Silverstone so it's booked for then. Wish me luck!
Let's just hope there won't be postmen around
#8 - Jakg
Wish me luck for tomorrow, the p-wagon will feel soo much slower after this
Jakg goes drifting.

Am I dreaming?
#10 - senn
Drifting in a caterham.....sounds challenging
#11 - JJ72
Quote from senn :Drifting in a caterham.....sounds challenging

Had the chance to play around in an actual 7, they are actually very driftable, absolutely no hazzle going from one state to another since the weight is managed so well, with the 4 wheels at the far end of the car and the CG is almost right at where your bottom is; the quick steering makes it easier as well.

I image a caterham would be very similiar.
#12 - Byku
Post some pics and impressions after this event .
Quote from Byku :Post some pics and impressions after this event .

+1 intrerested to see if you hit a red and white barrier
#14 - Jakg
Ok well i'm back (and alive!) so here goes.

First of all cars - Caterham 7 RoadSport SV's, not sure on actual engine setups but there is an option of a 125 BHP 1.6, 150 BHP 1.6 or a 175 2.0 - not sure which I was in but probably the slowest. SV just means "wide" so that fat people like me can fit in

125 BHP sounds pretty shit I must admit, esp as the p-wagon puts out 84 so thats not even double the beast from the east - but while my car does 0-60 in 12.2 seconds, the 125 BHP model does it in 5.9 seconds, mainly because the 7 weighs half the amount of my car (500 KG!). In short - I drove an LX4 :P

The car was "setup for drifting", the front ARB was gone, the front was lowered and softened (or hardened - forgotten :S) with soft tyres and the back was raised and softened (well, the opposite of whatever the front was) with shitty mega-hard Avon "Eco" tyres that ran for the whole day on a single set.

When I turned up there were all manner of cars in the car park, ranging from modified Golfs, a modified Lotus, an E46 M3, several rep-mobiles and a new TT, even another 7 - I was expecting to be the gimpiest person there with all their experience in RWD cars.

Got in the car fairly early starting off with a basic slalom, long turn to step out on then a "rolling donut" (i.e. wide-radius donut round a fixed point) - most people pussied out on the long turn, and understeered on the donut, then on their next go booted it and... spun. I managed to do quite well and took to the whole weight transfer thing pretty well, despite stalling the car. This was on a car park with cones, and several people managed to eat the cones.

It became fairly obvious that I seriously over-estimated the experience of the drivers - Mr. Modified Elise was balls-to-the-wall crazy and just booted it until he ended up parked on top of a cone in a cloud of his own tyre smoke. Several other drivers just froze the second they got it sideways and one guy just kept subconciously correcting the slide which was quite funny to watch.

Was a bit worried they would want to "baby" the cars but they didn't - they didn't mind anything they just didn't want us moving out of 1st (good for at least 30 in 1st and it was very tight so didn't need to move up, and i suspect the clutch would burn out very quickly if they let people clutch kick).

They then changed the course to a figure-of-8 style layout and I decided to try to go a bit harder, managed to link the turns up quite well and without blowing my own trumpet I was doing pretty well - the only problem I had was I couldn't seem to move my hands around the wheel fast enough without losing my grip on the wheel so some of my transitions weren't as gentle as i'd of liked

Then after much spinning (and lots and lots of "racing driver excuses"), and still none on my part, I got to move up to the next course, which was a mix of pretty much everything - got a few practice runs (where I got a semi spin, the car lost all momentum but I kept it pointing the right way) and then we were told we were going to be assessesed. In practice I did a blinding run, and managed to spin it at the end which got to me, but I tried again and really nailed it for the last run - part of the course was a 90 degree turn, then a "rolling donut" round a cone after the corner, then on the way out back into another 90 degree bend, and I was sideways going through the first corner, keeping it sideways through the whole donut thing and then still kept it out on the way into the next corner - alas it was on the other side of the track so my "cameraman" got a poor view but take my word for it

The scores were counted up, and out of the 22 participants, the guy in 3rd got 87%, Mr. Modified Elise got 87.5% as for perhaps the first run ever he managed to miss every cone, and then I went and got 89% (yes, bitches, that did mean I won)

As a prize I got a free hat (w00t) and a bag full of Auto Glym car cleaning / detailing stuff which is also pretty good.

I don't think anyone was best pleased they were beaten by a guy who's had a license for a year, and never driven anything RWD (with road tyres) before, though

Must say LFS definately helped, although it did definately feel like LFS had much much less grip simply because you feel the grip the car actually has much much better when your strapped in with a harness vs sitting in an office chair holding a bit of plastic. The actual dynamics were very very similar though.

Picture wise, I'll give you a teaser:



I dont have many good pictures as my Dad sucks with a camera, and as it was cold (3° C when I turned up at 8...) my parents didn't stay outside too long, but I do have some videos which i'm uploading to YouTube atm (but at ~100 MB for a 1 minute video its taking a while...!) which i'll drop in.


All I can say is that the 7 isn't high tech but it's a bloody fantastic car to drive, and it either wants to understeer or oversteer and it steps between very quickly. I want one


Funny event of the day has to be the guy who couldn't keep his hands still though - every time he spun his hands could catch the dash and start the indicators / wipers.
#15 - Jakg
Why you didn't roll it?

Nice driftos though. Nice soft focus touch on the second video.
#17 - Byku
AWESOME!! I WANT TO BE IN YOUR PLACE! GREAT DRIFTING . (caps lock intentional )

You pwned that noobs .
#18 - 5haz
Impressive
#20 - Jakg
You guys wait 'till I start uploading cruising videos
Looks like you had a laugh. For considerably cheaper fun I'd recommend anybody to look at auto solos. I had a great time doing the Oxford Motor Club auto solo on the same car park as Jakg for only £35 for a full days action.

Brilliant fun and the course was sufficiently open and fast in places for even the Volvo (temporary replacement for the Lada) to get to stretch its legs well into second gear, and somehow didn't finish last!
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#23 - Jakg
I wasn't allowed to use the clutch (or at least not to kick it)


They were encouraging people to jab the throttle rather than plant it as a lot of people were spinning, but when I did it seemed much easier to link stuff up.

@ ajp - RWD > FWD
Nice driving. Looks like great fun.
Great story Jack!! You'll never forget the day... Not watched the videos yet, but you sound like you did a good job. And it sort of proves how good LFS is, and how much it teaches you; because (no offence) a driving noob beats experienced RWD sportscar driver.

Has the adrenaline subsided yet?

Which Track To Go To For A Driving Experience?
(74 posts, started )
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