Adam Oliver – My U Drive Cars Experience
U Drive Cars, an experience not to be forgotten!
After searching around online for driving experiences, I fell upon the U Drive website. And knew that I had found the right experience for me! The thing that made them stand out to me was the range of different cars available, and the chance to drive both supercars and classics in the same day. This leads me to my car choice, which was a difficult one, as there is so much to choose from. After looking through all of the cars multiple times I decided that I wanted to sample both speed and style. This came in the form of the Nissan GTR and the iconic Mustang Fastback.
I arrived at the track to be greeted by smiling faces at the front desk. I was then given a disclaimer form to fill in with my personal details and emergency contacts, which was nice and easy to fill in, taking a couple of minutes to complete. Once the form was completed I was then given a clear structure of how the day would pan out, from the safety briefing to my drive time. And whilst waiting for the safety briefing to begin, I got a chance to go out and look at the cars. And what a marvel they are. The collection is astounding, and I would be forgiven for wanting to look at them all day. At this point standing next to the Mustang and Nissan GTR I couldn’t believe I would be driving them round the track.
A short time after arriving, we were called into the safety briefing, which was surprisingly engaging. These things normally revolve around the obvious cliches about not killing yourself or the car on your way round. But in this case we were given helpful instructions on how to make the experience better for ourselves, and how to optimise our time in the car, as well as clear rules about overtaking safely. I certainly felt confident that we were in good hands.
Once the briefing finished, we were all taken on a lap around the track in a mini bus, to familiarise ourselves with the layout. With key braking points and corner apexes explained on the way round. We then returned to the pits, awaiting our names to be called out. At this point I had a feeling of sheer excitement as I listened to the engines starting up and the first people setting off toward the track. At this point my name was called, and I was pointed in the direction of my first car.
THE NISSAN GTR
The GTR looked like an absolute beast from the outside, but nothing could compare to the feeling behind the wheel. The moment I so much as rested my foot on the accelerator, the V6 engine roared into life. Although I felt nervous when I found it had no clutch, the instructor quickly got me up to speed with the GTR’s paddle gears, something which I now wish I had in my own car!
And so, I made my way out to the track and set off at speed down the first straight. Approaching the first corner the instructor calmly talked me down through the gears, he then told me where to aim for throughout the corner, ensuring I had a nice smooth entry and exit to the corner.
Within a lap I found I was confident enough to go full throttle down the straight and really experience the cars incredible power to its full extent. The instructions I received throughout made me feel like I was stepping away with more than just an experience, I actually felt like a better driver. After 6 fantastic laps, I was given feedback from the instructor and left the car with a huge smile on my face.
THE MUSTANG FASTBACK
After departing the GTR, I thought that nothing could come close to what I had just experienced. Until I sat down inside the Mustang. Both cars were equally fantastic, but for very different reasons. For what the GTR had in speed, the Mustang matched in raw, American muscle.
Behind the wheel of the Mustang you really felt like you were getting an organic driving experience. As I set off round the track I quickly realised that all I had heard about the Mustangs boat-like steering was true and this made the drive even more fun! You have to put more effort into turning the wheel but the reward is a drive unlike any other.
Although it couldn’t match the speed of the GTR, you could feel it a lot more in the Mustang. As you put your foot to the floor you’re pushed back in your seat with the sound of that v8 growling in your ears. Sitting inside the Mustang you felt like you were transported into a classic American movie, the sound of the engine, the interior and the feel of the corners is unlike anything I’ve experienced before.
Overall my experience was extremely positive! The two cars were equally fun to drive, and I really feel like I got to fully appreciate both of them. For anyone who loves speed I couldn’t recommend the Nissan GTR enough, it’s like driving a missile. And the Mustang is every muscle car enthusiasts dream, the car was a sight to behold, well looked after and truly a drive unlike any other. The instructors I had in both of the cars were also very knowledgable and made me feel at ease, after a single lap I felt like I had learnt enough about the car to drive it confidently. They made sure that I maximised my experience and helped me push the cars to their limits, as well as teaching a lot about cornering. All of the staff went above and beyond to make sure that we had a great day, and I’m sure I will be back again to try some of the other cars too! A fantastic day all round, thank you U Drive!