When I first got the email telling me I was the lucky winner of a Ferrari 458 Passenger ride, I’ll be honest, I thought it was a joke. The chances of winning a competition like that are particularly slim, and not always being the luckiest person in the world, I didn’t think I stood a chance, but hey you fill in that competition form anyway! I would be in for the passenger ride of my life, in the Ferrari 458…you know, the one which goes from 0-60 in 3 seconds? If you didn’t know that, you obviously didn’t read Fred Famous’ article on my winning the competition, I think he only mentioned that fact 3 times…! (see this article here)
Anyway, the Ferrari 458 wasn’t going to be available until the new year which ordinarily would have been a little disappointing but Performance Direct gave me the option of going along in December for a driving experience in a Radical SR3 around Silverstone. I’m not a girl who likes to wait and the opportunity to actually DRIVE around Silverstone, and in something that’s even faster than a Ferrari 458, was just too good to pass up.
So, on a bright but very cold Saturday, I turned up at Silverstone Circuit and was taken up to track control to get the low down on how to drive around the circuit. Then armed with a helmet and what seemed like a tonne of foam so I could *ahem* see over the bonnet, I got into the passenger seat of the Radical and was taken out of the pits and onto the circuit. Apparently these few laps were for me to get to know the track before I was placed in the driver’s seat…but that thing is so fast I could have mistaken it for the high speed lap!!
On my return to the pits, the adrenaline was going and I was ready to jump straight into that drivers seat and get going around the track…but no, first of all the seat had be moved forward so I could actually reach the pedals! It was well worth the wait though, and before long I was in the driver’s seat and ready to get on that track. The Radicals performance was just awesome. I’m not exactly an expert in driving super cars, but having been a passenger in some rare examples, it was clear that the Radical was in a league of its own. I will admit too, that I was dubious about driving it around the track. I might have mentioned that I’m not always lucky, and at the back of my mind I was worried about losing it on the track and writing off a £70,000 car…but this was never a problem. The tyres gripped the tarmac like glue and not once did I feel like I was trying to fight the car to get it where I wanted it. I don’t think I have ever had so much fun driving around corners! And as if that wasn’t enough, flying past the likes of Nissans’ R35 GTRs and Porsches’ RS40s on the straights did give me a kind of warm feeling…mainly because I know it will be a long time before I get the chance to blow off the likes of those cars again!
After I had had my fun around the track, it was time to swap over again with Performance Direct’s very own tame racing driver, so that he could show me how the pros take on Silverstone. This is where I saw the Radical for what it was. A ridiculously super fast racing machine, like nothing I have ever been in! Nothing could compare with the speed it went around the corners and up the straights (OK, if we are going to get technical, yes an F1 car is faster) but for anyone who isn’t an F1 driver, this is the next best thing to understanding what it must be like for them to keep up those speeds lap after lap! I was tired just from being a passenger!
So…a fantastic day? You bet! My advice? Keep your eyes peeled for Performance Direct’s next competitions, I can’t describe how exciting it was for me, so get your name down, and next time it could be you!
However, I have got to be honest; driving this Radical around the track left me with one very sad feeling…that my drive home would be rather disappointingly slow…!