After driving as fast as I dare (which is pathetically slowly) around the circuit in one of these rocket powered lawnmowers, we then went drag racing with an Atom against the awesome speed of a Nissan GT-R. I won’t tell you which car won the battle of raw power versus technology… but it’s definitely worth trying both cars out to find out for yourself.
On the other side of the aerodrome, I was invited to go off-road in a Land Rover Defender through the woods – a drive that was spiced up when half way through the experience shots were fired at the vehicle from behind James May’s caravan. I was informed that there were military grade sensors on the vehicle, and that we needed to avoid being destroyed by the virtual gunfire. We made it out alive with some serious “hits” to the car… but I lived to write another Top Gear Experience review. Phew!
This could very easily have been an average track day for petrol heads which BBC Worldwide had allowed a Top Gear sticker to be slapped on the side of; but what is striking about the offering is just how much thought and effort has gone into making it a really authentic Top Gear experience that appeals to car nuts, and casual fans (like me) in equal measure – there’s even under-17’s off-road experiences, and chauffeured laps for non-drivers… if they want them. This is no Top Gear box set with lazy sleeve notes and an Ultra Violet copy as a bonus, this is an 18 carat gold engine-shaped case with seasons 1 to 19 hidden inside.
But be warned, this is not a cheap day out. Although the organisers are keen to emphasise all the prices are extremely competitive when compared to other track days – those who aren’t familiar with standard motor sports tariffs (such as myself) may more than flinch when they learn it costs £175 to be a Star in a Reasonably Priced Car and £99 for a flash around the track in Stig’s Porsche. However, with a global audience for Top Gear clamoring for a piece of the action, and a genuinely exciting day out led by properly enthusiastic drivers and staff – there’s little doubt that those with deep pockets will make sure the TG Track Experience is booked up for the foreseeable future.
Top Gear Track Experience opens to the public from 27 August 2014
For more information and to book tickets visit www.topgeartrackexperience.com