So last week we took 10 young drivers to Rockingham for our annual track day and my god what a day! If you read our blogs about last year you’ll know the theme was set around “parents vs kids” to establish who the safer driver out of the 2 was.
This year we thought we would take a slightly different approach and tailored the day to be all about young drivers with some very interesting challenges and tests!
A great way to kick things off
So before we all got in to the activities and excitement of the day, naturally we all had to have a safety briefing first! It’s not every day you get to go in the driver’s seat of a supercar so ensuring the drivers were fully clued up on what to expect was important – they were given a low down on the day whilst they noshed on a delicious breakfast of sausage and bacon sandwiches!
During this time they were also asked to part take in a mini quiz which tested their knowledge and expertise on general driving. This included questions such as stopping distances in bad weather conditions, what ABS is and other things you would expect to see in the Highway Code!
The educational part of the day
As 1 of the teams headed out onto the main road to go over road signs, markings, hazards and other general driving test questions, the other half went over to the wet grip for the first set of R3 challenges.
This was a fantastic opportunity to test the drivers on some very common and serious problems that occur daily on UK roads; these included controlled simulations of texting whilst driving, driving impaired and driving on wet or slippery surfaces.
A course of cones was set out for each driver, and for every cone they knocked over they would lose a point. At a glance the beer goggles test looks easy, but as you can see in the video it really isn’t! This simulation allowed our young drivers to get an accurate feel for what it is like to drive drunk and one of the drivers even had to cut his time short because he simply couldn’t control the car.
The other challenge was the experience of what it is like to skid. This involved a kick plate system which would make the car spin out giving the driver a real sense of what it is like to lose control. The challenge was for them to re-gain control of the car after skidding, which again – was certainly not easy!
Food for thought
After all the drivers had completed the morning’s adventures on the road and on the wet grip, it was time to head back to our private suite where we all had the pleasure of indulging in a fine buffet of cakes, sandwiches and more. During this feast, there was also another safety quiz carried out, but this time with the hope of the young drivers being a bit more knowledgeable after carrying out the driving tasks in the morning.
The average score in the first quiz was 8/20 – which R3 instructor Steve said is way above the average of 3! The second time around, our young drivers scored an average of 18/20, a whopping increase and we even got a couple of full marks!
Back on the track
The second half and much more fun half of the day, consisted of the young drivers whizzing around the main circuit in a Lamborghini and Nissan GTR. Here they were measured on their lap times and got to experience what it was like to drive these powerful, sleek looking machines that most of us could only dream of being a passenger in, let alone get to drive!
The final part of the day (which is what the drivers apparently found the most enthralling) was the GBS auto test. The vehicles can only best be described as a roller skate with a roll bar, and here they were required to put their foot down and reach the fastest time possible whilst manoeuvring between a series of cones and practically performing donuts in a controlled space!
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Recall and reflect
Once every driver had completed the course, we all headed back to the suite for yet more tea and cake with an overall summary of the day and some final questions. After finding out everyone’s scores it was then time to say our goodbyes and depart. It’s safe to say that in spite of how tired everyone looked, every driver left with a big smile on their face! Thank you for yet another amazing experience day Rockingham!