Last year, Vic’s family clubbed together to buy her dad, Alan, a single-seater racing car experience for his birthday.
A couple of days before his birthday this year he arranged to go to Rockingham Racetrack and take up the challenge.
Vic and I went along to watch, as did Vic’s mum, Joan, and Vic’s sister, Lorna. We took a picnic with us so that we could make a bit of a day of it
Rockingham is up by Kettering in Northamptonshire, but the trusty TomTom satnav got us there safely, albeit a bit later than we’d originally intended.
As we got out of the car we were greeted by the squeal of tyres as other attendees went through their paces in saloon cars on the skid pan. The smell of burning rubber hung in the air as the specially rigged cars swung around in a pretty extreme fashion.
We went into the huge observation deck/waiting area while Alan registered, and it was then a case of waiting for an hour or so for his group to be called.
When Alan was called, the rest of us walked down to the garage area down at the track level. While he was being briefed we had a look round a sample car they had parked in one of the garages, and watched some of the other customers driving a variety of Porsche, Ferrari, Lotus, Lamborghini and Mini cars.
After Alan and the other single-seater drivers had been briefed we walked over to the pit lane and watched some of the other guests on the track.
After a while it was Alan’s turn, and he and 5 other single-seater drivers headed out. The other cars are all out at the same time as well, so there’s a mix of single-seaters, sports cars and Minis all going round at the same time.
The single-seaters get about 8 laps each before having to come in, which is just about enough to start to get a feel for the handling of the car.
Alan thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and we rounded the trip off with the picnic back at the car-park.