You may well have a garage full of gleaming supercars, but, we’d hazard a guess they’re largely unused, thanks to our congested roads, and speed-loathing police who love little more than to nab a Ferrari streaking down the M4 the second it strays over 70mph.
It’s definitely frustrating. But, should you feel the need for serious speed, there’s no better experience than getting involved in one of the many track days being held every week up and down the UK? We’ve selected the best of the experiences on offer, all of which are within easy distance of London. So let the fun and games begin.
Close to London, Mercedes-Benz World offers a wide variety of driving experiences for sports car fans to enjoy, two of the best being laps in the SLS AMG and C63 AMG Coupe Black Series.
At this impressive visitor attraction, visitors will find a 3D experience, a Mercedes-Benz cinema, interactive attractions and motorsport exhibits. There is the opportunity to see, touch and feel the latest Mercedes-Benz models which are displayed alongside a host of iconic classics and Formula 1 cars – all of which are ideal for those with families to entertain.
SLS AMG Experience
This experience is a must – the stunning SLS AMG, with its 6.3 litre V8 engine, is jaw-droppingly good to drive. The car handles like a dream, and certainly looks the part too. The experiences start at £299 for one hour, but fans should opt for the £650 half day if your schedule allows.
C63 AMG Coupé Black Series Driving Experience
From just £275 you can experience the raw power of the C63 AMG Coupé Black Series. The most powerful C-Class of all time, its 6.3-litre V8 produces a huge 517 bhp and hefty amount of torque, enabling an impressive 0-62mph sprint time of just 4.2 seconds.
Mercedes-Benz World driving experiences take place on purpose built Handling Circuits, a sophisticated Wet Skid Circle and a dynamic straight. And for those looking for a bit of off-road fun, Mercedes-Benz World also has ten acres of challenging off-road terrain for 4×4 vehicles, complete with a water crossing and extreme slopes. The tuition on both surfaces is first class, you’re given detailed and useful feedback, and all instructors and centre staff are excellent.
For youngsters – those over 1.5m tall can get behind the wheel of a brand new Mercedes-Benz through the Under 16s Driving Experiences. With dual controls and a professional driving coach in the passenger seat, kids have the chance to experience their own driving lesson to develop real road skills, or even tackle the challenging off-road terrain in the latest four-wheel drive Mercedes-Benz M-Class. Those between three and six years old can also join in the fun with Little Learners – a special indoor driving zone where children can drive an electric miniature Mercedes.
In addition, during school holidays the centre’s own Silver Arrows display team show off their incredible car control skills to crowds in a spectacular show of precision driving and high-speed manoeuvres.
It’s an ambition of many a petrol head to test their driving skills on one of the world’s most famous race tracks. So it’s no wonder that the wide range of driving experiences on offer at Silverstone, from single seats to 4x4s, are some of the most desirable, and enjoyable, anywhere in the UK.
As with Mercedes Benz World, the instructors are excellent, giving great feedback, and thanks to their expert tuition you’re sure to leave at the end of the day feeling as though you’ve significantly improved your road and track driving skills.
Aston Martin Experience
Arguably Aston Martin’s finest car, the V8 vantage is the epitome of style and innovation. Its front-engined layout allows the 4.5 litre V8 to sit far back in the chassis for perfect weight distribution, so the drive more than lives up to the promise of that beautiful shape.
The full experience, priced from £175, includes timed laps on one of Silverstone’s famous circuits, safety briefings and a useful debrief and driver assessment to discuss your performance and any areas to work on.
You may already own a Ferrari or two, but even so, it never hurts to hone your skills on one of the world’s most famous circuits. And for those new to Ferraris, this is an excellent way of seeing for yourself just how good these Italian supercars really are.
From £225 per person, you start off in what’s known as the ultimate hot hatch – the supercharged Megane Renaultsport 250, to learn your lines, before sliding behind the wheel of a 400bhp V8 Ferrari for laps of grin-inducing joy. The instructors will help you reach your racing potential, guiding you as needed to get your lap times right down.
Porsche Experience Centre
Silverstone’s also home to Porsche’s Experience Centre, where you can book to drive models from across the range, including the superb cart-like Cayman and 911 GT2 RS.
The experiences run on a specially designed track that incorporates five elements; Handling, Kick Plate, Ice Hill, Low Friction and Off-Road circuits. Again the one-to-one tuition is excellent, and you’re given valuable drive debriefs.
Ultimate GT Experience
The 911 GT2 and GT2 RS are the most powerful 911 variants ever produced. When driving both the GT2 and GT2 RS you experience the unbelievable performance of a twin turbo 911 GT. These run for 90mins and cost £550.