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YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A TOPCATS RACE EXPERIANCE SLOT, See end of review for details
I’ve known Warren and Charlotte for a year or so now and the more I get to know them the more I like them. Totally consumed by Racing, V8s and tvrs I was bound to like them really, but since I first contacted them for the original tvr Monster at Snetterton I’ve found out more; and what’s not to like? They’re a husband and wife team who met through racing, Warren as Team manager and Charlotte as driver, and who now run the highly successful Topcats Race Team. They have years of experience in all aspects of tvr’s, Marcos’ and Racing and we are very proud to be associated with them!
Well, that’s the creeping over with, so now onto the “Race Experience”. What’s its about? How does it run? Is it a track day? Is it worth the money? I hope to answer all these questions.
To start with, it’s NOT just a Trackday. From the moment you arrive you are looked after impeccably. As popular as Corporate days as they are with individual drivers it has that professional feel. There is hospitality, seating and technical feedback, if you are interested, from the support team so you really feel involved. Helmets and equipment are available too so you can just “arrive and drive”. After briefings and paperwork are completed, you can’t escape that anywhere, you are invited to drive straightaway. Yes I do mean drive!
Today’s car is their famous Silver Tuscan (one of two, the second is now a Sagaris GT and was Michael Caines Championship winning car!) with around 400bhp and at only 1000 kg it’s pretty brisk. The power is the first thing you will notice followed quickly by the heat! This is a racing car remember, so there is no insulation from the heat or the noise You can hear every one of the 400 horses straining at the drive-train, every marble thrown up by the huge full size race slicks and every mile per hour as the wind screams past. Next surprise comes from the brakes. You have to push hard but when you do it stops, almost immediately, and as you recover from the negative G and throw the car into the corner (no pas here) it almost takes your breath away as the car has massive grip due to the immensely sticky slicks.
So is this going to be too much for you? I doubt it. Topcats have been doing this for several years and have lots of experience at all levels. Experienced or rookie, private or corporate, rain or shine they’ve done it all. Their experienced instructors (many drawn from their own highly successful stable) can take you through everything you might need to know. Racing lines and handling techniques are covered of course but also seating position (essential for reading what your car is doing) and field of vision (looking through a corner as you travel at 90+ mph ). These sound quite basic but trust me, when you are responsible for a 400 bhp tvr Race car, the basics can be overlooked as you try to keep out of everyone’s way and overtake safely. But don’t worry you have a skilled team looking after you.
You really do get that “Race experience”. You feel like you are in an endurance race as you arrive back at the pits. As soon as the car comes to a stop, the crew is on it. You jump out and the next guy jumps in, while the mechanics check tyre temperatures, wheel nut torques and sensors on the laptops.
But is it value for money? Well firstly, and experience like this is hard to come by. You can’t just pick up a day like this in the Argos catalogue! A “Race Experience” is generally a pedestrian lap or two over a couple of hours, with only a few minutes on track and precious few at a serious pace. If you do get to drive, the rev limiter will be on and the Instructor is always ready to rein you in should you get a little lively. So it has little to compare it with. Really so lets go with a standard Trackday. We were at Silverstone GP in race season…say £250? Add to that fuel (on track only), two tanks at £60? Plus a bit for wear and tear on the tyres, brakes etc…say a maximum of £100? So that a total of about £410 without extras like Insurance. Now if I then told you that the Tuscan Race Experiences start at £300 + vat I’m sure you’ll realise what great value these days are. Incredible really.
So that’s what its like. A real race experience, in an actual racecar at one of the best circuits in the modern GP calendar. And tvrmonster.com and topcats racing.com are giving a slot away to one of you guys. Just log onto the forum and keep your eye in it for the next two months and you could be driving either a Tuscan racer or a Sagaris GT yourself. The Ultimate tvr Experience. We’ll pick one of our registered users out of the hat for one of the Topcats dates at the end of the season…