Gift Experience South Africa: Super Car Drive Days
Have you ever dreamt of driving a supercar? Sure you have, why else would you be reading this? Your dream might just be within reach now if one innovative South African company has anything to do with it! We were recently invited by one of our biggest advertising clients, Gift Experience South Africa, to participate in one of their Supercar Drive Days for the public – a first on the continenent.
The concept started with their parent company, Gift Experience Scotland, who has allowed over 7,000 people to fulfill their dreams by driving cars like Porsches, Ferraris, Aston Martins and Lamborghinis. The South African driving experiences began early in 2014.
The first of almost a dozen successful events started in Gauteng at the lovely Zwartkops Raceway. After that, Killarney Raceway in Cape Town hosted the fleet of exotics in March 2014. Despite inclement weather and a few hot egos, not a single car was damaged or even left the track. Not one. Dezzi Raceway near Port Shepstone (Kwazulu Natal) joined the line-up in the 2015 season.
A few important notes we made is that this is NOT a racing event and the highly professional team take safety very seriously. Anyone who abuses a vehicle will be escorted off the premises immediately – the same goes for drivers who repeatedly disobey their instructor.
That doesn’t mean you’re in for a boring, slow or strict experience – quite the opposite! We found every single staff member to be friendly and extremely helpful. Your experience starts with registration and a safety briefing, followed by car choice. Car choice is subject to availability and past events have included:
- Ariel Atom (passenger hot laps)
- Audi R8 V8
- Audi R8 V10 Spyder
- Aston Martin DB9
- Ferrari California
- Ferrari F430 Spyder
- Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder
- Lamborghini Gallardo SuperTrofeo (passenger hot laps)
- McLaren MP4-12C
- Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
- Nissan GT-R
- Porsche 911 GT3
Almost all vehicles are automatic and have an advanced driving instructor on board to ensure driver safety while assisting him or her in finding the ideal driving line and technique around the track. I’m no expert driver or racer yet every instructor quickly adapted to my driving style and gave me positive encouragement.
Certain parts of the track – especially the fast ones – had cones on them to slow the drivers down. Although it seemed strange to me at first, this prevents the risk of high speed accidents and actually allows you to experience more of your chosen car’s acceleration and deceleration.
Once an instructor feels comfortable with your driving, they will happily encourage full throttle – go, go, go! Gear changes are advised at exactly the right times and each corner on the track has cones to demarcate the correct entry point / apex, braking and acceleration areas.
Drivers have to be over 21 years of age and fully licensed. Prices start at R2,739 for three laps in one supercar and end at R6,269 for three laps in five supercars. The sensation of driving an exotic car around a track is well worth this, my only complaint was that it’s over too fast – I just wanted to keep going!
For the extreme petrol-heads, Gift Experience South Africa also offers passenger hot laps – a thrill ride in a supercharged Ariel Atom, driven by a professional racing driver. Prices start at R1,499 with only height as a minimum requirement. They also offer insurance waivers as well as various photo and video packages at additional prices.
Visit www.giftexperiencesouthafrica.co.za or call +27 (0)21 813 6060 for more information and to secure your booking. NamWheels is grateful for the sponsored opportunity and looks forward to the next round of supercar driving days which take place in January 2018 (KZN), February 2018 (Gauteng) and March 2018 (Cape Town).
Hurry, space for this supercar dream is limited!