My Experience Driving an Open Wheel Racecar at Knockhill

Matej

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1,985
Croatia
Zagreb
The grades on the scorecard... at first glance I thought those weren't 7s, but that other number. :P

Excellent story! 👍
 
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141
Ireland
Dublin
jaytmtb
I did the same in Mondello Park in Kildare, Ireland a while back
This makes me want to do it again this summer :)
This is a must if you love driving, and it's something you'll never
forget 👍
 
637
United States
NH
Whodoyouthink
Kinda funny how Brendan's last name and his instructors last name are fairly similar. They start and end the same, with just some difference in the middle!

I wish I had an opportunity to drive an open wheeler. I did 6 trackdays last year, but all in my NA Miata with super sticky street tires. I had one session where I got to drive a NB Miata with heavily used slicks and no power steering. Spun it the last lap seemingly out of nowhere!

If I want to really drive a racecar like the opener wheeler in this experience, pretty much my only option is to pay a big rental fee to one of the local companies that have a fleet. Probably super fun, but it ends up costing like what 3 or more normal trackdays cost, so I question how much value I'll get out of it. I suppose it depends on the car and how many sessions/laps I can get out of the day.
 

Brend

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Kinda funny how Brendan's last name and his instructors last name are fairly similar. They start and end the same, with just some difference in the middle!

I wish I had an opportunity to drive an open wheeler. I did 6 trackdays last year, but all in my NA Miata with super sticky street tires. I had one session where I got to drive a NB Miata with heavily used slicks and no power steering. Spun it the last lap seemingly out of nowhere!

If I want to really drive a racecar like the opener wheeler in this experience, pretty much my only option is to pay a big rental fee to one of the local companies that have a fleet. Probably super fun, but it ends up costing like what 3 or more normal trackdays cost, so I question how much value I'll get out of it. I suppose it depends on the car and how many sessions/laps I can get out of the day.
My middle name is David too. :scared: :lol:!
 
3,031
Cool car, driving a real formula racecar would be my best birthday everrr, I'd probably run the thing off pushing the pace though...:sly: or I'd break something on the car. :scared: the price for a real good test session where u get the chance to run good hard laps must also be :banghead:

Ferrari used to do formula 1 track days for the uber rich, I bet a physical training program comes with it... in fact I think infineon, Laguna seca lap records are held by f2004.
 
42,627
Australia
Australia
That's inspiring. I need to do a proper track day. Meanwhile, I'm mimicking your experience in PC2. Starting with a blue CTR.
 

VBR

Meme Dissident in Exile...
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ScapeGoat4U
I was lucky enough to have a trackday at Palmer sport in 2009 (see my avatar), so I know how awesome it is to drive real race cars on real tracks. Glad you enjoyed it!


👍
 
99
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
spikyone
@Brend - curious as to whether the car was rev-limited? I had a go in one at Brands Hatch a couple of years back, and whilst it was a lot of fun, the rev limit was very low so I was disappointed to be bouncing off the limiter all the way along the main straight. Knockhill's a bit far for me to travel but I'd love to have a go in one that was derestricted!

I don't know if it's still running, but the best "pay-to-drive-something-cool" day I've ever done was a NASCAR experience at Rockingham (the UK one). Those cars were power-limited rather than rev-limited but allowed you to lap at well into 3 figures. You had your own spotter in the grandstands advising you on racing line and when to get out of the way of the cars that were running passenger laps with a pro driver. The passenger lap gave me a lot more respect for the guys who only turn left. They are very serious race cars with huge amounts of grip, and were running a proper oval setup so that you had to steer right on the straights. You also don't realise from the outside just how different each corner is. I spent the rest of the day grinning like a madman.
 

Brend

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@Brend - curious as to whether the car was rev-limited? I had a go in one at Brands Hatch a couple of years back, and whilst it was a lot of fun, the rev limit was very low so I was disappointed to be bouncing off the limiter all the way along the main straight. Knockhill's a bit far for me to travel but I'd love to have a go in one that was derestricted!

I don't know if it's still running, but the best "pay-to-drive-something-cool" day I've ever done was a NASCAR experience at Rockingham (the UK one). Those cars were power-limited rather than rev-limited but allowed you to lap at well into 3 figures. You had your own spotter in the grandstands advising you on racing line and when to get out of the way of the cars that were running passenger laps with a pro driver. The passenger lap gave me a lot more respect for the guys who only turn left. They are very serious race cars with huge amounts of grip, and were running a proper oval setup so that you had to steer right on the straights. You also don't realise from the outside just how different each corner is. I spent the rest of the day grinning like a madman.
Hmmmm, very good point. There's not that many fast corners on the track so I didn't bounce off the revs once, as far as I can recall. :confused:

I wouldn't want to spread lies though, it has been a few months since I drove the car.
 
692
Scotland
Scotland
Gremlin100
@Brend

I was lucky enough to drive this track a few years ago in what appeared to be a formula ford with a bike engine. Absolutely fantastic! The real eye opener for me was being taken out in a people carrier by a lady who knew her way around the track, showing how easily running off the racing line in the first corner could soon snowball into a full on disaster at the third corner.

From there on I was hooked. Busy track coupled with the thrill of driving over the same kerbs that I had watched the likes of Cleland, Menu, Rydell and Tarquini fly over when I was a lad was absolutely indescribable.
Hope you had as much fun as I had
👍
 

Brend

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@Brend

I was lucky enough to drive this track a few years ago in what appeared to be a formula ford with a bike engine. Absolutely fantastic! The real eye opener for me was being taken out in a people carrier by a lady who knew her way around the track, showing how easily running off the racing line in the first corner could soon snowball into a full on disaster at the third corner.

From there on I was hooked. Busy track coupled with the thrill of driving over the same kerbs that I had watched the likes of Cleland, Menu, Rydell and Tarquini fly over when I was a lad was absolutely indescribable.
Hope you had as much fun as I had
👍

The uphill S bend is unbelievable, what a rush!
 
692
Scotland
Scotland
Gremlin100
@Brend

The uphill S bend is unbelievable, what a rush!

I think thats the kerbs I was referring to, blind entry, proper leap of faith

15154386817601709364963.jpg


Wow was it really 5 years ago?!?! They had Seat Leon Cupras back then
 
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4,076
England
Somerset
Pagey279
Good stuff, I did something similar a few years back as a birthday gift in a formula Ford around castle combe.

Although the practice car they have being a Fiesta ST is somewhat less exciting, but I took the instructor out in the Fiesta and was over taking cars with a lot more power which I'm chuffed about.
It got to the formula Ford and after finding my feet after a couple of laps I got far too confident and decided to really go for it on the next lap. I promptly took too much speed into a fast right hander and spun, kept it in gear, did a full 360 and drove off as if nothing happened!

I would love to go around Knockhill though, and drive a Type R but that's a bit of a trek for me. Quality write up!!
 

Brend

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Good stuff, I did something similar a few years back as a birthday gift in a formula Ford around castle combe.

Although the practice car they have being a Fiesta ST is somewhat less exciting, but I took the instructor out in the Fiesta and was over taking cars with a lot more power which I'm chuffed about.
It got to the formula Ford and after finding my feet after a couple of laps I got far too confident and decided to really go for it on the next lap. I promptly took too much speed into a fast right hander and spun, kept it in gear, did a full 360 and drove off as if nothing happened!

I would love to go around Knockhill though, and drive a Type R but that's a bit of a trek for me. Quality write up!!
Cheers mate! It's fantastic, the Type R was a beast...even if my Peugeot'ness made me weary on going full pelt. :lol:
 
1,970
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Thanks for sharing the experience. 👍

I took part in something similar a few years ago on Brands Hatch Indy: same ex-Formula Palmer Audi single seater, but with an E92 BMW M3 as the warm-up. I've been to that circuit for as long as I can remember for many meetings ranging from BTCC to BSB, so being able to drive it was a real pleasure.

My only single seater experience beforehand was through karting, so jumping into the FPA was a real leap forward. And as you say, it is like a kart turned up to 200%... even if in my case, the engine was rev-limited to half its normal capacity (3500rpm instead of 6000), so you don't need to be a mechanic to know what that felt like on the straights.

But still, the experience was one to savour. The BMW weren't half bad either. :)
 
99
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
spikyone
Thanks for sharing the experience. 👍

I took part in something similar a few years ago on Brands Hatch Indy: same ex-Formula Palmer Audi single seater, but with an E92 BMW M3 as the warm-up. I've been to that circuit for as long as I can remember for many meetings ranging from BTCC to BSB, so being able to drive it was a real pleasure.

My only single seater experience beforehand was through karting, so jumping into the FPA was a real leap forward. And as you say, it is like a kart turned up to 200%... even if in my case, the engine was rev-limited to half its normal capacity (3500rpm instead of 6000), so you don't need to be a mechanic to know what that felt like on the straights.

But still, the experience was one to savour. The BMW weren't half bad either. :)

Yep, that's exactly the one I did. Frustrating having your foot pinned to the floor out of Clearways/Clark and having the thing top out after a hundred metres, all the way to Paddock. The E92 was impressive but felt like a big, heavy beast of a thing. I'm back at Brands for a trackday in my GT86 next month, which will make for an interesting comparison. :D

Depending on when you started going to Brands we may have been to a few of the same events - I was there regularly through the Super Touring era of BTCC, went to various club events, not to mention the DTM and CART. Great circuit to watch racing!