Fancy Yourself As the Next Lewis Hamilton? Race A Single Seater Car

Formula Ford

Half go-kart, half kit car with a healthy streak of F1 supercar added to the mix, these single seater pocket rockets are designed purely for one thing: speed. Or rather, make that two things: speed and fun!

Squeeze into one of these compact machines, strap yourself in and prepare to find out what speed means in the ride of your life. Exposed to the elements, you’ll blast around the course in a flurry of squealing tyres, mind-blowing acceleration and full-on race car dynamics. It’s raw, raucous and a rollicking good time!

Single seater racing

In this Single Seater thrill drive you’ll get to drive solo in a mini racing car at your choice of location. On the day, you’ll meet your instructor and receive a briefing on safety and the itinerary ahead, and then it’s time to get acquainted with the track. Some venues will take you on a few familiarising laps with a pace car to help participants learn the racing line. Next is the best bit – buckle up and get ready to drive solo in your single seater. You’ll have the chance to take your car for a spin of several laps, putting all that racing theory into practice.

Think you know what speed means? You will do, once you’ve experienced the tear-jerking acceleration of this supercharged, super-fun single seater. With a roaring engine, raw power and a light roofless frame, this mini machine means business. Climb into one of these asphalt-scorching rockets and enjoy a heart-pounding experience that will whisk you back to your youth, and those glory days of makeshift go-karting. This big kid’s toy is the perfect tonic for speed demons and will simply whip your breath away. Prepare to have a blast!

A top choice:

Head to Prestwold Driving Centre in Leicestershire and drive a Formula Ford single seater for a total of six miles.
From £89 per person from Drivers Dream Days (at time of writing)Learn more

F1 simulator

NEEEEEOOOOOWWWWW! What’s that? That’s the well known and much loved sound of a racing car zooming past you at unfathomable miles per hour. And then it’s gone, on its way to completing another circuit of the race track. It must be amazing to be inside one of those cars, going at speeds that anywhere else would get you arrested. It must be thrilling to see the world whizzing past.

It’s dangerous though, isn’t it? And maybe a little bit scary? Yet still, the pull of the idea of it is there, urging you to get behind the steering wheel and give it a shot.

But what if there was a way to experience literally break neck speeds without the fear of smashing into something, or flipping the (very expensive) car over? There is! With one of the racing car simulator experiences on offer, you can all but feel the wind in your hair as you take those turns in absolutely comfort, knowing that you’re safe and sound, but feeling as though you’re really driving on a race track. That’s the beauty of modern day simulators; they are so good you feel as if you're doing the real thing!

With the F1 Race Car Simulator Session you can choose your favourite (or most difficult) Grand Prix race circuit in the world, from Australia to closer to home in Europe. Pick the one that suits you best and buckle up – this could get intense! In front of you as you sit in your specially designed racing pod will be a 3 metre wide screen that will give you the best view you could ask for; and then it’s go, go, go!

What better gift to give those who love racing, who adore Formula 1, and who would love to get behind the wheel of a racing car (in slightly safer, but no less fun, surroundings)?

Here's a suggestion:

Race a simulated F1 car in Chandler’s Ford, Oxford, or Halifax. Enjoy at least four Grand Prix races in a racing simulator.
From £39 per person from Virgin Experience Days (at time of writing)Learn more

Formula 1 racing

Bend it like Button and drive an F1 supercar in this thrilling Formula 1 racing experience. Yes, you heard right. Get behind the wheel of a real ex-Grand Prix 600bhp legend and tackle the track like the pros. But not before you’ve spent the day learning lines and practising your racing skills in various other single-seaters. Picture this: start your day in a humble sports car – a Ferrari 360 or Porsche 911 Turbo should do – while you get to grips with cornering and lap times. Then move onto the single-seater Formula Ford, try out a Formula 3 rocket, then round off the day in a F1 racing masterpiece such as the 1996 Forti-Corse FG03 or the 1994 Arrows FA14. You’ll even get a swanky overnight pit stop thrown in too. As driving days go, this one really hits the apex.

Start off with demonstration laps in a saloon car driven by a professional racing driver, before it’s time to take the wheel yourself. You’ll drive a sports car – this may vary but could be a Porsche or Ferrari – for approximately 10 laps, before you move up to a race prepared Formula RS single-seater for another series of laps, some of which will be timed. At this point you’ll normally take a break for a hot buffet lunch, before it’s back onto the track for the afternoon session. This kicks off with around 10 laps in the Formula 3 single-seater, and then it’s the big one: you’ll be strapped into an ex-Grand Prix Formula 1 racing car ready to put it through its paces for another 10 laps. This is typically either the 1996 Italian Forti-Corse FG03, or the 1994 Arrows FA14.

Fancy driving an F1 supercar? Can a duck swim? Step into Schumacher’s shoes and make like Mansell in this exceedingly rare treat. Earn your F1 wings and savour the chance to get into the hot seat of an ex-Grand Prix racing car – the epitome of go-faster engineering. Built for speed, power and with more G-forces than a day at Alton Towers, this Formula 1 racing day is ten-tenths of the greatest experience you could ever wish for. Find your groove in a humble sports car before moving up the Formula racing ranks, performing the pièce de résistance in a real F1 legend. It’s just you, your F1 machine and several miles of asphalt (and no speed cameras). Quite simply, it’s the driving experience that leaves all other driving days standing at the grid.

Sadly, it looks like this experience has bitten the dust. The next best experience is spending time in a Formula Renault or Formula Ford car on a mini grand prix of your own (see below).

Something to consider:

Want longer in a Formula Renault or Ford Turbo car? How about 24 laps? You'll need to head to tracks near Bicester or Tockwith but you'll get to spend longer in a 192 break-horse-power machine.
From £399 per person from Activity Superstore (at time of writing)Learn more

Ready, Set, Go! - What You Need To Know

  • WHEN: The experience is usually available to book on weekends and selected week days. Supplements may apply for weekend dates. Extreme weather may mean outdoor experiences are postponed.
  • WHERE: Events take place at race tracks nationwide.
  • WHO: Single seater racing is a must for motor-sport fans who religiously follow championships on the telly.
  • OCCASIONS: These are a great gift ideas for birthdays and Christmas, and are a natural choice for Father's Day. Simulator experiences are ideal for motor-sport-mad children (check the minimum age first) or for adults unsure about riding in a single seater car by themselves.
  • PRICES: Simulator experiences start from around £35 a head, while a ride in the real thing starts from around £75 per person. (correct at the time of writing)

(Photo credit to Sms467)


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