4 ways to have fun ‘Top Gear’ style

Super Car Are you a self-certified petrol head with a penchant for car related TV shows? There’ve been a few. No doubt you remember Fifth Gear with British racing drivers Tiff Needell and Vicki Butler-Henderson.

How about Channel 4’s short lived Driven featuring none other than James May? Of course, nothing can beat the enormous impact of Top Gear, the BBC’s flagship motoring show and a true game changer that always was, and arguably still is, all about how much fun you can have in a car.

If your dearest wish is to make like one of the Top Gear boys, you’re in luck. You don’t need Chris Evans’ vast supercar collection or the stunt driving capabilities of The Stig. What you do need is access to a huge choice of exciting driving experiences such as those offered by Into The Blue and others. Here are 4 cool motor mad activities vying for pole position on my leaderboard, so take your pick and get revved up for an adventure you won’t forget in a hurry.

1. Supercar Track Days
Take a very fast, very expensive car and put it through its paces on the track – hey presto you have a driving experience to last you a lifetime.

As you’d expect, you’ll be able to pick from a stable of the best marques in the business including every car you’ve ever dreamed of. Fancy cruising in a Bentley Continental GT, having a go at taming a Lambo Aventador or MacLaren 570S, or getting a taste of the future with a Tesla Model X? There are Ferraris and Astons aplenty to choose from as well as the usual slew of top performing German marques, and much more besides.

Hear the engine roar with unbridled power as you so much as look at the accelerator, inhale the smell of the exquisite leather interior and take possession of one of the coolest cars on the planet, if only for a few precious hours. The verdict of your full throttle supercar experience? ‘Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful’, as Jezza himself enthused when he took the Aston Martin Vantage V12 for a spin on Top Gear – no doubt one of the most emotional car tests ever to be screened on TV.

2. Stunt Driving Courses
Take your motoring enthusiasm up a notch and learn some stunt car moves straight from the professionals, such as the mighty Paul Swift whose work includes making an R8 Spyder dance gracefully in Audi’s Beauty and the Beast TV commercial. With the help of a skilled stunt driving teacher, you’ll learn the art of freestyle driving, how to pull skids, handbrake turns and J turns.

Learn how to push a car to the limit with a range of autotest moves that combine both skill and daring. Some moves include the classic 360 spin while driving, and handbrake reverse flicking your vehicle into a tight parking space. Other advanced driving skills have a more serious side and can help you control your car on a wet public road.

Finally, there’s the crazy end of stunt driving. Ever tried auto circus or banger racing? It’s the most fun you can legally have in a car.

3. British Classic and Vintage Cars
Look back at the golden age of motoring and indulge in some four wheeled nostalgia on the track or the open road. There’s something truly magical about cars that were full of character when many of today’s models all look a bit samey. And with no modern fripperies such as ABS, power steering or reverse parking cameras to contend with, you really need to drive these old classics to get the most out of them.

Waft around in a Jaguar Mark 2 like Inspector Morse, or fall in love all over again with the E-Type – the world’s most beautiful car according to Enzo Ferrari! – and experience the power and grace of the 4.2 litre 265 bhp Jag engine up to a very respectable top speed of 150 mph.

British automotive design and engineering led the world in the 1960, and you’ll be spoilt for choice, with a rather fine selection of impeccably preserved old classics including the Aston Martin DB4, Jensen Interceptor, MGB Roadster, Austin Healey 3000 and Mini S Mark 3. Why not club together with a few mates and recreate Top Gear’s British Sports Car Challenge?

4. Drifting Experience
Drifting is not only one of the most graceful driving skills you can possess, it’s also a popular motor sport for those who have perfected the skill. Wanna learn how to fling your car around corners like a pro, sliding and gliding? Take a look at Chris Harris and the boys as they drift around the test track in the new Nissan BladeGlider.

At drift school, you’ll be taught about slip angles and oversteer, full opposite lock and steering control through tight corners. Practise in a choice of rear wheel or all wheel drive vehicles and at ever increasing speeds until you get it right and experience pure driving euphoria.

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