Performance Car Guide’s editor Mike Lee attends the launch of The 2015 Touring Car Experience


September 28, 2014 By Mike Lee
Last updated on November 25, 2015

Read our 4 page experience:

2015 Touring Car Experience Donington Park (2)Do you ever dream of being a racing car driver or wondered what it would be like to sit in a race car and be driven around a track by a professional race driver at full race speeds. Who would have thought that those experiences and dreams can now come true. Performance Car Guide accepted an invite to The Racing School’s launch of the Touring Car Experience at Donington Park Circuit in Leicester recently to experience just that dream.

The experience will come as a performance driving package that will be available to the public in 2015. There will be no fewer than 4 race cars that supports the British Touring Car Championship race series for you to realise your dream in. The cars will include a single-seat race car, Porsche Carrera Race Car, Ginetta GT4 and a Racing Renault Clio. If that isn’t enough you will then move onto a 300bhp variant of a 2015 BTCC racecar. All cars will have an instructor sitting alongside you, who themselves are trained race drivers and will help guide you around the legendary and challenging Donington Park race circuit and help you to get the most from your dream experience. And if you haven’t already had your fill of racing around the track in those cars, you will also be taken on some ‘hot laps’ at full race speeds by a BTCC Champion in one of the latest 2015 Next Generation Touring Cars.

So knowing we were in for a great day we made our way to Donington Park’s paddock car park, which was quite easy to find and well sign posted, excited by the fact we were in for a treat. Lucky for us the weather was in our favour and most importantly it was dry, with the forecast for the rest of the day looking good.

At the Racing School centre I completed the registration and declaration and also produced my licence. I found the staff at the school to be very warm and welcoming and I could feel a sense of excitement in the air, or was that just my excitement?

Having got to the venue early, I was introduced to Honda’s Yuasa Racing Team’s Marketing and Commercial Director Richard Tait Harris, who then showed me around Matt Neal’s BTCC Honda Civic Tourer. These cars are tremendous machines, that have had many years of motor racing R&D, creating one serious race car. My thanks go out to Richard for the impromptu tour.

At the Racing School briefing, the day’s activities were outlined and we were told about the track, how to drive on it and about the new driving experiences that was going to be on offer.

 

Once the briefing was over, it was time to hit the pits and lined up along the pit lane was some of the most desirable drivers cars around. And before long I was putting on the obligatory helmet. Head caps are provided for hygiene purposes and I would recommend you tuck it back into the helmet away from your face, as it doesn’t that look fetching on your photos or videos – think blue shower cap!

 

 

The first car up for me was a full race prepped V8 touring car. A welcome from the instructor, a quick familiarisation of the cars controls and we were off. Unusually the V8 super car I was in was left hand drive and ran a 6 speed manual transmission, but once a I got used to being back in a LHD car with a stick shift, it was OK. Having not driven at Donington Park before, I drove the car at a pace I felt most comfortable, however the instructor did encourage me to drive progressively quicker and push harder on each of the 4 laps.

Note: On the track there are cones, which are placed at both the turning points and braking points for curves/corners and the instructor will guide you to each of these points and instruct you on how to get the best out of your driving and the car along the circuit. In the briefing this driving from each single cone to cone was described as being like drawing a dot to dot picture and you will be surprised how fast you can go if you listen to the instructor and follow these race lines. Although for me I did find them a little off putting, as I wanted to look through the corner to line up the next corners line, rather than concentrate on a cone by cone drive, but as I say, if you are not experienced at driving on a track, they will help considerably. The instructors also keep an eye out for any traffic that may be approaching from the rear and will let you know where to be on the track to let them pass. Continue Reading:

Page 2 An exhilarating ride in a BTCC Honda Civic with Matt Neal at the helm and a drive of the Formula TRS Single-Seater
Page 3 Our Multiple Supercar Experience
Page 4 Donington Park and The Racing School