Cars, tech, games… You name it, I’ll probably love it.
Cardiff, South Wales, UK
I’ve always been eager to try out a supercar on a racing circuit, so it goes without saying Llandow offers a great first-time experience. From the get-go, it was a rather nerve inducing excitement mix. But once the nerves passed it was as straight forward as it can be…. at least until you realise they will try to pry your hard-earned cash as quickly as you stomp on the accelerator.
With that said, and before I even delve into the experience, let’s go over some of the bad bits:
Let’s Bore You From The Beginning
From the moment of signing up, I was offered a £5 briefing as well as a sighting lap before heading out. Initially, this sounded beneficial. You’re introduced to the owner of the cars who’ll give a fun introduction, but it gets stale after about five minutes. The pushed joked of “don’t drive it fast or it’ll cost you” and “If it were up to me everyone would pay more”, it just feels a little off-putting. I get it, they’re very expensive cars, but this is a very rare opportunity for some.
Still, you’d think there’d be something worth learning from the briefing? No, to be blunt. The only thing you will learn is that the cars are expensive, don’t crash them, and don’t push them too hard. You’ll then be shown a few clips of a girl screaming as she goes around the track. I seriously didn’t understand the premise of the video, because, at the end of it, everyone will react differently driving a 500+ horsepower supercar.
The only somewhat viable reason for paying the £5 is for the sighting lap. And even then it’s a little lacklustre trying to peer out of a minibus window trying to get an eye for the track.
Spend a little extra for some information you’ll pick up as you go? Nah, I think that fiver is better off getting a cuppa.
Shoddy Recording Equipment
Most customers would expect a great camera setup considering it’s a pretty penny you’re paying for the experience. Or maybe, you’d even be able to use your own head camera or something. Nope, you’re stuck with some very poor, watermarked footage. Understandably, it’s advertising for Car Limits, but why would anyone pay to advertise you? It’s a terrible vandalisation to the clips they’ve provided.
£45 for watermarked footage at an extremely low quality. I’m not going to lie, it takes the Mickey. So bear this in mind, the following videos are of particularly poor quality.
But with this out of the way, let’s get to the good bits – the supercars:
The Nissan GT-R is everything I expected; raw power, astonishing grip and a direct feel. However, to my surprise, I never realised how heavy the steering feels compared to an everyday commuter. It’s a tad annoying how clunky it felt when shifting but just the sheer grip around the corners made up for that. It may not live up to supercar standards but it sure packs a punch.
Aston Martin Vantage
It’s funny. I’ve always wanted to drive an Aston Martin. For a long time, I idolised the DB9 for all of its British craftsmanship and gorgeous looks. Up close and personal it’s a different story. The Vantage is a little bit boring. It didn’t feel as exciting as I thought it would. It’s a supercar with a lacklustre grunt.
It’s a thing of bucket lists. The Ferrari F430 is the perfect V8 midship experience. Brilliantly balanced, backend happy, engine screaming behind you. It’s a thing of dreams. Ferrari knows how to make the perfect supercar.
I think that Llandow is a great novice circuit, and it’s certainly been the best introduction for myself as a track virgin. However, using someone else’s supercar slightly kills the experience quickly. You’re taking corners more cautiously than you’d expect because you don’t want to be that person who crashes the car. And because of the lack of knowledge of that car, you have very little time to adjust yourself. The 3 laps feel pretty wasted by the time you pit-in.
Not to mention the absolutely disgusting prices for “extras”, it’s a huge let down from Car Limits. Give your customers at least full HD clips of the experience, no watermarks, just raw footage. Trust me, this will sell. OR better yet, give them the opportunity to film themselves — for a fee, of course.
Anyway, I digress. Other than these few annoyances, it was a brilliant experience. However, it goes without saying, if you want a better experience of the track — take your own vehicle. It’s a vehicle you probably know, and you’ll surprise yourself with what your own car can do. It may not be a supercar, but you won’t be overlooked by a person that doesn’t want you to have fun.