With the march towards autonomous driving and the electrification of the car the ability for a petrol head to really enjoy a day behind the wheel can be fraught with frustration. Most would say that track days are really where the fun can be had and if you look at the different exotica coming out of car factories at the moment it does seem that there is a growing market. But do you really want to take your own car around a racing track? I did with my Atom once and the results were not pretty. So ideally you want to use someone else’s car but which event to choose?
Recently I had the opportunity to visit Palmer Sport at the Bedford Autodrome for what must be one of the most existing and complete driving experiences available. Granted it is not cheap but considering you get the opportunity to drive in not only a Formula 3000 but also a Jaguar JP-LM, Defender, BMW M4, Caterham, Ariel Atom and GT50 gokart it does seem like you get value for money.
The day starts with a quick briefing before being whisked off in a dedicated bus which takes you and your group around the site. Each set of cars has it’s own track and hospitality suite so they are able to run the day with many different groups being able to use all the cars at the same time. The focus on the day is about lap time and everyone records times in every discipline while being taught by their local experts who sit in the cars with you.
After a few 100 mph 360s I started to get the hang of the Jaguar’s before moving swiftly on to the technical off road course and so the day continues until you are honestly exhausted and you start to dread the need to drive home. It certainly ensures you come away from the day thoroughly enthused with the petrol itch properly scratched. I certainly would recommend it to anyone keen to do more with a car who hasn’t yet made the jump to track days.
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