New research has hinted that some parents are letting their kids swap racing games for the real thing with track-based experiences. Would you take the plunge?

Getting behind the wheel of a car may be part of day-to-day life for grown-ups, but for children the idea of driving can undoubtedly be an exciting prospect. Youngsters of all ages tend to be fascinated by vehicles, with little ones wanting to know how the incredible machines work and older generations simply being attracted to the sense of freedom they can provide.

Of course, with driving lessons only really becoming an option in the late teens, many young people’s first experience of driving these days comes in video games. Racing titles are among the most popular gaming genres and there have been many classics released through the years, from Nigel Mansell’s World Championship and the evergreen Mario Kart to more sophisticated modern titles like the Forza series and Codemasters’ F1 2019.

However, while it is fair to say that young people have not been short of options when it comes to virtually experiencing the thrills of being on a track, there is still ultimately nothing like the real thing. In fact, new research has even suggested that kids are increasingly keen to put their console controllers down and tackle racing in real life.

Trackday experience (3)

According to figures released by driving experience provider ‘TrackDays.co.uk’, there has been a 71% increase in bookings for junior race experiences. And yes, such events do involve children as young as 11 trying their hand at driving supercars including the Audi R8, the Porsche 911 and the Lamborghini Gallardo.

‘TrackDays.co.uk’ operations manager ‘Dan Jones’ confirmed that video games were a major factor behind the trend, outlining how many children were heading to tracks to see what their favourite cars were like in real life. He added that the demand had led his company to boost the number of junior experiences it offers, with each including trained instructors.

Volkswagen ID. R development front side 1
Volkswagen ID. R

Electric vehicles are capturing the imagination at present, with many manufacturers including Volkswagen looking at the potential that the technology can offer in a racing sense. TrackDays.co.uk has hinted that such trends are not lost on younger generations too, as junior bookings for experiences with the BMW i8 hybrid are up by 40% as well.

Dan Jones added: “On a practical note, these driving experiences are designed to teach kids driving skills in a safe environment. The younger they can learn how to drive, then the more experienced they will be when it comes to driving on the road for real.”

Lamborghini trackday experience (1)

So while it may be easy to regard junior driving experiences as kids simply living out their video game fantasies, those at TrackDays.co.uk seem to believe they could have a major long-term impact on young people.

It certainly provides food for thought for parents and may make a few think again when their child soundly beats them on the latest video gaming hit.

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