Event: The 6th Gear Experience
The 6th Gear experience is a red-letter experience day company, giving you the chance to drive a number of bright and lairy supercars in a safe environment around a race track. Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s, even the odd Aston Martin and 911 Turbo, they are all here ready to blaze a trail of pedal-to-the metal action on a fantastic twisty circuit.
The company runs from three different outlets and today the Supercar Driver team has been invited to sample their venue and to drive their two latest editions – the Ferrari 599 and the 458.
6th Gear run events at several locations and today we were at Bruntingthorpe. It’s a proper circuit too. You park up in a large car park and wait for the bus to take you to across the circuit to the registration area held in the centre of the track (not actually on the track, you understand).
It’s a busy affair with a lot of people waiting excitedly to sample one of the delicious supercars on offer. But it is very efficiently managed. First up, registration. Once complete, you head over to the waiting area for your name to be called. Whilst waiting you get to watch the others on the circuit, salivate over the exotica on display, or grab a burger if you’re feeling a bit peckish.
Before you head out in your car of choice, you head out on a circuit overview. This takes place in a Range Rover and the driver explains the corners, the racing lines and the best gears and speeds for each section.
Back from the overview, I glance over at my ride of choice – the Ferrari 458. It is looking splendid – although it isn’t being used much. Neither is the 599. These cars are the premium choices in the line-up, so they do cost more than the other cars to drive. Sadly the reason for their lack of movement today is not due to finance, rather that both of these cars have broken down. Ferrari’s, eh!
It is a shame, but it can’t be helped. 6th Gear owner Simon later informs us that both cars will be whisked back over to the dealership tomorrow to have their problems remedied. As for us, we get to pick one of the other cars, and get an extra lap by way of apology. So, it’s not all bad!
I chose the Ferrari F430 F1 Spider. “F1” meaning it is equipped with some lovely flappy-paddles. Whilst the rest of the Supercar Driver team are working out what is happening with their ride, I’m keenly jumping in the car and ready for the off. Time waits for no man.
Whilst red-lining or gear-breaking isn’t permitted in the 6th Gear cars, my instructor does allow me good use of the rev range – that Ferrari engine tunefully singing in my ears as we power through the corners and down the long straight.
You can really get some speed up too, and the chicanes allows for some fun on the turns. 6th Gear host events across the country, including the Elvington track which is also great fun. But unlike the Elvington circuit, which is largely cones on a slab of tarmac, Bruntingthorpe is a purpose built circuit and looks more impressive as a result. Both circuits give you great opportunity to experience these cars for all they are worth. The F430 that I am driving is great drive on this Bruntingthorpe circuit – you can really stamp on the loud pedal. Throwing the car into the bends and blipping the gears on the down-shift.
The steering feel is excellent and very precise. A great car!
Adam chose the E-gear Gallardo Spyder. “It was perfect weather to enjoy car, roof down and the sun out,” he says. “After a lap familiarising myself with the circuit, the car inspired confidence and was able to freely enjoy the car, downshifting and upshifting when I wanted and really pushing it when the track allowed.
“The instructor was very patient and relaxed which made the whole experience far more enjoyable than some experience days I have attended in the past. Next time the 458 Italia is calling me!”
Not so impressive was the Murcielago, which was a manual car. The car felt heavy and the gear changes notchy. The taming of this bull wasn’t happening on this occasion!
After your driving experience, you are treated to a fast-lap with their expert driver, Simon Shaw. This lap was in a Gallardo and his skills were suitably amazing. This experience has to be enjoyed to be appreciated.
These driving experience days are great fun and allow you to try out other supercars for a great price. So, if you fancy a blast around the track using someone else’s petrol, sampling maybe a Lamborghini or perhaps a new Ferrari that you are considering I would recommend the 6th Gear experience as an adrenaline fuelled day out that can only make you grin from ear to ear.
To find out more, go to www.6thgearexperience.com.