What problems are you likely to encounter at a Rally Driving Experience?
What if I can’t do it?
Everybody is understandably nervous to varying degrees when they come to drive on our rally experiences. Most drivers have little or no experience of how to make a car slide in a controlled fashion or do a handbrake turn, they are types of driving that drivers are actively discouraged from practising on public roads – and for good reason.
We have nearly forty years of experience teaching drivers with every level of ability there is and have never failed to instruct, guide, support and encourage a driver to achieve, at the very least, the beginnings of a power slide and one good, if not perfect handbrake turn and very often much more,
with a lot of smiling on the way.
Whilst it is always very rewarding to help more experienced drivers to develop their skill level in rally driving techniques, probably the most rewarding experience for our instructors is to help the most apprehensive drivers overcome their fears and achieve a level of driving in a rally car they never thought possible, even in their wildest dreams.
Our tag line is “You’ll be amazed at what you can do!” and we aim to make sure you are.
Is the experience healthy post Covid lockdown?
We always take the safety and welfare of our staff and customers very seriously and have been doing so for nearly forty years. As we return to work after this period of lockdown we will communicate a full set of measures to customers booking one of our rally experiences.
From re-booking customers, at no cost, who tell us they demonstrate symptoms prior to their experience date, to contactless temperature tests, distancing and a comprehensive set of hygiene measures on the rally experience days.
Is the venue difficult to find?
No, our Rally Special Stage venue is located right in the middle of what is known as Motorsport Valley, an area from Reading, Berkshire to Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. It’s just over an hour from both central London, exiting the M40 at Junction 10 and central Birmingham, exiting the M1 at Junction 15A. We’re also on the doorstep of Silverstone Circuit which is six miles north. With our post code NN13 5YD in your satnav you’ll arrive at Turweston Aerodrome at one of its two entrances, we will send you directions to our meeting point from both, follow these carefully and you’ll be met by a member of staff at the meeting point. If you don’t follow them closely you will get lost and you’ll need to ring the Rallyschool Event number in your final instructions to be guided in.
What are rally school cars like?
Compared to your road car they’re raw. Our rally cars have been converted to rally specification from road cars. The interior is completely stripped out; most driver comforts and aids are removed and they’re fitted with a full safety roll cage; competition seats; competition safety harnesses; competition suspension; some have no power steering; competition brake pads; professional two way intercom; and a range of detailed rally specific modifications. The models all have a great rally competition pedigree and they’re built to be driven sideways on a gravel rally stage, not exhibited at a car show.
Are rally school cars safe?
Yes. Motorsport UK, the sport’s governing body sets the safety regulations for rally cars. Most of our rally school cars don’t compete on competitive events but we follow all the key safety regulations in the build and maintenance of our rally school fleet.
Will I be safe driving a rally car?
Yes. In nearly forty years of operating rally schools and well over 100,000 drivers, in the UK and around the world, we have never had a serious personal injury. The occasional small cut to a finger or blister are the most serious and we have qualified first aiders to administer plasters if required.
When they are in the car drivers always wear a safety crash helmet, fitted with a two way intercom so they can easily communicate with their instructor; sit in a competition bucket seat; are fastened into a full competition specification safety harness.
Our rally driving Instructors are all experienced competitors, licenced by Motorsport UK and the British Association of Rally Schools. They instruct, guide and encourage drivers to develop the special rally driving techniques covered in the rally driving experiences, gradually building from a comfortable speed for each individual driver to a speed that enable the driver to achieve more than they may have thought possible.
Is it family friendly, can I take my wife and children?
Yes. But whilst we’re operating under COVID -19 restrictions we have to limit guests to two per driver. These can be two adults or one adult and one child, children must be supervised by an adult at all times. You’re welcome to bring your own baby, please don’t bring anyone else’s without their permission. We don’t have baby changing facilities in the rally service area but they are available at the Turweston Aerodrome Flight Centre. If parents are comfortable they have the option of changing baby in their own car. Nappies, wipes etc must be taken home with you.
Is there a warm place for the family?
Our rally experiences, our rally cars and our rally service area are authentic and very real.
The rally service area is exactly as you’d find on a live special stage rally with service vans and mini-marquees. The focus of the day is very much on the driving but our objective is to ensure that everyone on the day has the best experience and we aim to look after guests as well as we do drivers.
The rally service is warm in the summer and provides shelter from the weather in the winter, but it can be cold, it’s not the Silverstone Wing or F1 Paddock Club! The customer car park faces the rally special stage and guests can see 90% of the driving from their car if the weather prevents them from standing outside. Warm and comfortable toilets are located a short walk away in the Turweston Aerodrome Flight Centre.
Can it be a family occasion?
Yes. You can bring family or friends as guests to share in your enjoyment of the day. They can view 90% of the Rally Special Stage from the car park and take pictures and videos too.
Is it dog friendly?
No, unfortunately we are unable to accommodate dogs.
Will I get muddy?
Maybe. But not seriously. Rallying isn’t F1 or any other form of circuit racing in the sense that it’s largely completed off road. Our rally special stage has a loose gravel surface on a hard base so it doesn’t dig out so we run our rally experiences year round in all weather conditions. You’ll get a bit dusty in the drier months, a bit wet in the wetter months and a bit of mud on your shoes now and again. When you’re not in the rally school car you’ll be under cover in the rally service area, sitting in your own car or outside watching the other drivers (which is also a really useful part of the learning process]. In your booking confirmation we’ll tell you how to prepare, what to bring etc so you’ll be fully covered.
Can I take pictures or video?
Yes. We love you taking pictures or videos of your drivers, they’re great memories to look back on! From the car park you can catch them coming towards and around the top handbrake turn hairpin and through the first power slide corners, please feel free to tag us on in your social media posts, we’d love to see them too!
Is lunch provided?
Yes. Lunch is provided on all of the National One Day rally experiences.
No. Lunch isn’t part of the Clubman’s Half Day rally experiences, but we email customers details of how to pre-order lunch from the Flight Deck Café, a short walk from the rally special stage.