- Price: £169.00
- Location: Leeds Raceway (Sherburn-in-Elmet Airfield)
Not so long ago I had the opportunity courtesy of my generous brother (Cheers Dan) to drive 4 supercars for the day, getting 3 laps of the Leeds Raceway in each of them.
So how did it go?
Well it was an early start, pretty much par for the course with any of my driving activity days. I set off at 7:10 for my 97-mile journey to Leeds arriving just before 9am. It was a gloriously sunny day but first impressions weren’t great, the airfield seemed more field than track, green grass as far as the eye could see. Making my way over to the tent for registration I pass a couple of car transporters and could make out a catering van. Silverstone this was not.
Registration was quick, I signed my life away and picked up a usb stick which would be used to record my time in the cars and then made my way over to see what I’d be driving first.
Ferrari F430 [Time 09:03]
I was quickly whisked into the Ferrari F430 Spider in Rosso corsa (Italian racing red). It was an automatic with a flappy paddle (F1 style paddle shift) gearbox, the only automatic car I’d driven before this was a Mercedes A-class (the old MPV style), this was certainly a world away from that. The gear changes were rapid, the acceleration was exhilarating and smooth. The F430 was a supercar in every sense of the world, 3 very short laps later and I was left wanting more. I’d never really understood the Ferrari thing before, now I think I was hooked, shame getting my hands on a F430 was out of the question, at over £100k second hand. Oh well onto the next one.
Aston Martin DB9 [Time 9:43]
After sitting around for a little bit and grabbing a coffee it was onto the DB9, the car of 007. I was looking forward to this one, sporting a 5.9L V12 and another F1 style paddle shift, the Crimson red car I got in reminded me of an old jag. It was really comfortable inside, felt more like a regular car than the exotic design of the Ferrari. Off we went for what felt like 3 leisurely laps of the track, it wasn’t slow but then it didn’t feel fast in the way the Ferrari did, maybe it was the lack of wind in my hair this time round, it being a hard top and all. I was left musing that this was probably a car to get me to work, not one I’d want to buy to blast around a track. I didn’t bother looking up the price of this one. Next.
Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder [Time 11:14]
To say I was getting twitchy waiting to get in the Lamborghini was an understatement, there is only so much catering van coffee a man can drink whilst waiting to drive the next car. No explanation was given for the wait, and I wasn’t in a good mood stepping into the Gallardo. Luckily this state of mind wasn’t to last long, the Gallardo Spyder in bright yellow with its V10 and flappy paddle gearbox was every bit the car I was expecting. The acceleration was brutal where the Ferrari was smooth, the engine note was louder. Driving this car was an event, albeit one that lasted under 3 minutes. By the time I got out of the car I was all smiles again, the previous wait all but forgotten.
Porsche 911 GT3 RS [Time 11:36]
Now onto the main event, my dream car the 911. I’ve wanted to drive one since I saw the movie No Man’s Land with Charlie Sheen. Which features the main character stealing a number of 911’s in some sort of early Fast and the Furious style action thriller. This one was a modern 997 will all the bells and whistles and unlike the other cars, featured a tiptronic gearbox with gear selection a button on the steering wheel. For me the tiptronic really ruined the feel of the car, made changing gear a bit like playing Xbox. Don’t get me wrong I posted my fastest time of the day in the 911, but driving it didn’t feel as special as I’d hoped. They say don’t meet your heroes, I guess the same can be applied to cars. Still it was pleasant enough but I’d have a Ferrari or Lamborghini over one assuming I could afford any of them.
The cars were great, the weather was spot on. The track, well, it’s potholed in places, the tall grass makes it hard to see what’s going on as a spectator. Everyman are busy trying to upsell you on everything from hot laps to upgrades on your car choices, all at extra costs. The onboard video isn’t as clear as you’d hope, but better than nothing.
All in all, if you accept it as a budget supercar day with a tent in a field, it’s fine. The cars are the star attraction and are what make the day. I’d be tempted to pay extra to double your time (you get 6 laps in each car instead of 3). I'd recommend bringing some reading material for what can be long waits between drives, and be patient.
Four Car Taster at Everyman Racing Scores 3/5.