‘OhMyGodThatWasSoFrickingAwesomeIthinkMyHeadMayExplode’ feeling. The Fastest Blogger event organised by buyagift.com that I attended last week was one of those events.
Their invite was quite simple, come down to Silverstone and spend a day driving a Caterham 7. I am not beyond introspection and there is a reason that I only drive a Ford Fiesta – It’s because I’m an idiot. Put me in a car and I want to drive it fast, hence only trusting myself with a Fiesta on the roads – anything faster would be a disaster (with a ghetto blaster, and a headmaster). So there was no way I was going to turn down the opportunity to drive one of those beasts.
Upon arrival I met the Caterham team and my fellow bloggers and we were given a safety briefing. The instructor tended to look at me a lot whilst giving his warnings, I think he could smell the speed-freak in me. He then explained that they were going to teach us how to drift a car and do doughnuts (you know, the ones policemen don’t like, the tyre smoking ones not the glazed ones). Drifting a car involves careful manipulation of brake, accelerator and wheel coupled with lots of screeching, smoke and adrenaline soaked fun.
There were three cars and 17 bloggers so in between turns we would sit down and have a bit of a natter. I had sat myself down with Miss Daisy and her daughter Megan (sorry Wendy, I did warn you) and soaked up the sun in-between bouts of boy-racing. There was banter, there was laughs and occasionally there was clapping when one of us achieved a spectacular doughnut.
Believe me, there is no better feeling in the world than screeching sideways around a corner with your heart threatening to jump out of chest and not getting nicked for it. We were a mixed bunch in the driving talent department (the best line I heard was “This is the first car I’ve ever been insured on”) but by the end of the day all of us had improved beyond our wildest expectations. I had started the day thinking that everyone would get all testosteroney and über-competitive, but there was a real sense of camaraderie as we all cheered each other around the final drifting course.
I want to thank the team at buyagift.com, the perfect place to find fathers day gifts (especially if my kids are reading this). I’d also like to thank the Caterham 7 team for letting me thrash the nuts out of their cars, even after I thought I had broken one after a spectacular spin off the track. The only negative thing about the whole day was having to drive my front wheel drive Fiesta home, all in the knowledge that it couldn’t recreate the day in my local Tesco’s car park. Damn.