My Experience Driving an Open Wheel Racecar at Knockhill

Discussion in 'Cars in General' started by GTPNewsWire, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. GTPNewsWire

    GTPNewsWire Contributing Writer

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    Spacegoat, Carbon_6, IfAndOr and 17 others like this.
  2. grancheesemo

    grancheesemo

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    Cool experience, great story.
     
  3. Matej

    Matej Premium

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    The grades on the scorecard... at first glance I thought those weren't 7s, but that other number. :p

    Excellent story! :tup:
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
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  4. jaytmtb

    jaytmtb

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    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 :tup:
     
  5. Whodoyouthink

    Whodoyouthink

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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.
     
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  6. Anirudh

    Anirudh

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    Nice story. Would love to visit it some day.
     
  7. Brend

    Brend Contributing Writer

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    My middle name is David too. :scared: :lol:!
     
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  8. Sick Cylinder

    Sick Cylinder

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    Great write up - interesting and inspiring! Hopefully GT Planet staff and members can do more write ups of other track experiences.
     
  9. Rich S

    Rich S

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    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.
     
  10. 05XR8

    05XR8

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    That's inspiring. I need to do a proper track day. Meanwhile, I'm mimicking your experience in PC2. Starting with a blue CTR.
     
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  11. VBR

    VBR Premium

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    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!


    :tup:
     
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  12. spikyone

    spikyone

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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.
     
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  13. Brend

    Brend Contributing Writer

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    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.
     
  14. XJ40

    XJ40

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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
    :tup:
     
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  15. Brend

    Brend Contributing Writer

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    The uphill S bend is unbelievable, what a rush!
     
  16. XJ40

    XJ40

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    @Brend

    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
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
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  17. Pagey279

    Pagey279

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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!!
     
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  18. Brend

    Brend Contributing Writer

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    Cheers mate! It's fantastic, the Type R was a beast...even if my Peugeot'ness made me weary on going full pelt. :lol:
     
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  19. Carbon_6

    Carbon_6

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    Thanks for sharing the experience. :tup:

    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. :)
     
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  20. spikyone

    spikyone

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    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!