Imagine yourself as you sit in the hot seat, you rev the engine, your adrenaline's pumping and you are about to give yourself the drive of a lifetime in a fully race prepared rally car.
With our Rally Driving in the UK experience, you'll learn the skills to push your car forward against the clock by maximising your skidding turns, mastering the surface and jerking on the hand brake. There is no doubt that this experience is fast, furious and full of excitement. Your day will also include refreshments and a briefing on the techniques of rally driving.
As a finale, your instructor will blast you round the track at high speed, as only a true professional can.
You'll need to be between 5' and 6'3" and weigh less than 16.5 stone. You must hold a full current manual driving licence, which you may be required to produce on the day of your experience. Vehicles will vary from centre to centre and could include the Peugeot 206, the ever popular Ford Escort MKII, the Ford Focus or the Escort Cosworth.
Rally Driving in the UK may be cancelled or curtailed in extreme weather conditions which would make driving at speed dangerous. Please call the location prior to departing if in any doubt.
Duration varies depending on the location selected. As a guide, you will be at the venue between an hour and a half to around three hours and a half, including a briefing, tuition, driving time and debrief.
There will be up to six participants per car depending on the location. During the driving element, only you and the instructor will be in the vehicle.
Spectators are welcome and will be able to watch varying amounts of the experience, depending on the location. Please note some locations charge between 10 to 15 pounds to cover insurance and refreshments. Facilities do vary from centre to centre. Some locations do not allow people under the age of 16 entry.
Wear thin, flat-soled shoes as the pedals may be close together. A helmet will be provided, but if you have your own you are welcome to bring it along. Any other special clothing will be provided by the centre.
Selected weekdays and weekends throughout the year, subject to availability. Please note that weekend dates are particularly busy and should be booked at least six weeks in advance.
Fife, Lincolnshire, Northern Ireland, Northamptonshire, North Yorkshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire
(Please note that locations are subject to change)
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Rally Driving in UK: Fascinating Facts
Rallying has always been a perfect way to test a car's speed and endurance. In 1907, The Peking to Paris Rally started as a challenge by a Paris newspaper. The cars ranged from a giant Italian 7-litre Itala, to a tiny 3-wheeler Contal cycle-car and they drove a 12,000-mile route in the rainy season without roofs or front brakes. The first to Paris would claim the prize - a magnum of Mumm champagne. But the event that really put the sport on the map was the Monte Carlo Rally, first run in 1911. As it was held in January and run through mountain passes, the road conditions were often extremely difficult. However cars like the Mini earned a great reputation by winning it. The Mille Miglia was one of the last of the epic races held on public roads. Run until 1957, marques such as Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar would hurtle at speeds up to 180 miles per hour around a course that wound through central Italy. Today rallying is a world class sport and its top drivers are as famous as Grand Prix stars.
How Do You Handbrake Turn? - here's how
It is possible to turn the car a full 180 degrees to face the opposite direction by performing what is known as a handbrake turn. In effect, it is essentially a U-turn done in the space of two lanes of road without resorting to tedious three-point turns. It is a very easy technique. However, to do it safely and accurately takes practice.
Handbrake turns are the easiest to perform with a front-wheel-drive car, although any car will do. To pull off a handbrake turn, drive along at about 30 to 35 mph, in first or second gear. Too slow and you won't be able to complete a 180. Any faster and you will start going backwards after you complete the turn. The exact speed depends on road conditions and the type and condition of tyres on your car.
Position one hand on the steering wheel in a way that will allow you to quickly turn it one full circle. This basically means that, on a right-hand-drive car, you place your right hand on the left side of the steering wheel, ready to flick the wheel around quickly. The exact positioning will depend on which way you want to turn. Also, with a manual car, keep one hand on the handbrake with the release button already pressed (but with an automatic, shift into neutral first, then get ready with the handbrake). Now, the key here is to start turning before you pull the handbrake. Ease off on the accelerator, floor the clutch (or in the case of an automatic, go into neutral) and quickly yank the steering wheel smoothly either left or right (or on whichever side you have more space to make a turn) until it locks. A split second after you start turning, quickly yank the handbrake lever locking the rear wheels completely. At this point, you will start rotating and really feel the lateral G building up. As you are rotating, you should gradually bring your steering wheel to the center again and straighten out your front wheels. In the end, you will more or less be facing the opposite direction, at a complete stop, or moving backwards slowly. You can judiciously apply the normal foot brake (or not at all) to control the end of the rotation precisely and stop moving backwards.
If you're feeling particularly destructive, you could go one up. While rotating, when you've completed about three-fourth of the 180 with the clutch pedal depressed, shift into first gear, release the handbrake, floor the accelerator and dump the clutch, performing all one by one quickly. You will start moving again as you complete the turn, spinning your wheels and kicking up some tyre smoke if you have enough power. If you spin more than 180 degrees, you can apply some countersteer to straighten out your car while driving away.
Golden Moments does not recommend you attempt this without supervised training - book yourself on this experience day.
This Rally driving gift experience activity day makes an excellent 30th birthday present.
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