Monday, June 20th 2011
Every once in a while you are given the opportunity to learn something new about yourself. I was given that opportunity on Friday when I was lucky enough to be invited to take part in our client Cirrus Research’s * 40th birthday celebrations at a Palmer Sport driving day.
When I was first invited I had no idea of the extent of the day and even after reading through the Palmer Sport website and brochure I still didn’t quite believe that I’d be driving all of the amazing cars – but I did!!
Here I am at the beginning of the day about to drive the first car, a BMW M3 GTP.
(Feel free to laugh, nicknames so far have been ‘pin head’ and ‘chipmunk’).
In 10mins I did a lot of things that were totally new to me. I wore a helmet (lid) for the first time, I learnt how to change gear with paddle shift and not ‘feed’ the steering wheel (I got better at this) and I learnt how to drive FAST round corners and concentrate on my driving line with someone screaming ‘POWER LOU POWER!!’ and ‘DO NOT BRAKE!’ into my helmet.
I bounced out of the BMW, onto the bus and straight into a Caterham which was so much fun and definitely suited me. One of my friends used to build these, I’ve cleared out the garage and invited him round for dinner tomorrow.
We were let loose to fly solo in the Caterhams in a ‘Caterham Pursuit’ which involved driving round a circuit and doing doughnuts! This was brilliant and felt great to be out there on your own. I was quite good at it too!Next up were the Clio Cup Racers and Porsche 911 which were, of course, awesome.
I was most nervous about off-roading in the Landrover Defender. The brochure says ‘You’ll climb so steeply that all you can see through the windscreen is sky, and plunge off what appears to be the edge of the world. You’ll also take on our infamous see-saw.’ Gulp.
It didn’t start well in the Defender (the instructor had to take the handbrake off for me). But once I got going I was quite good (ranked 12th out of 20 overall!) and had such a great time!
Of course everything we were learning was building us up to the serious motor – The Palmer Jaguar JP – LM (Le Mans). WOW! This was like nothing else I have ever even allowed myself to dream of driving. A totally amazing experience that flashed by in a blur of adrenaline.
All in all an amazing day that I felt privileged to be invited to and will be talking about for years to come.
Anyone got a Landrover Defender that they want to trade for a Seat Altea?
*Cirrus Research plc is a world leading manufacturer and supplier of sound level meters, measuring sound across a wide range of applications to include occupational noise and environmental noise measurement.
We’ll blog about the work we have achieved for Cirrus later, we’re very proud of it. …