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6th Gear Experience - Ariel Atom - Elvington Airfield - York
Overall a very poor driving experience - lovely sunny day, but very windy. Atom was very quick but you couldn't really experience it due to the circuit being marked out with very small cones on an otherwise featureless airfield. All of the Braking Point boards had blown over so you had just the less than 300mm high cones to look for to try and find the corners, it was impossible to approach the corners correctly even with guidance from the instructor alongside - after 4 laps I had probably only managed one enjoyable corner and this was only at about 50% of what the car could take it at, purely down to the abismal track marking. From the start of the last lap the car was running out of fuel so every time I accelerated it lost power under the initial surge - the was no offer of a extra lap or anything, just 'it's running out but we'll probably make it round', then 'ok we're done now, lets go back and we'll fill it up for the next customer'. The corners needed identifying much more clearly, 300mm high chevron banners would have done, to guide you in. The £5000 insurance excess ensured that you paid an extra £25 to waiver it, then the 'if you spin it ends the session instantly' rule ensures that you tip-toe around. The whole of the laps were done in 5th and 6th gear - I could have got a better experience from 4 straight line acceleration and braking runs. I am quite an experienced driver having been involved with the motor industry for over 30 years yet even I could not get much out of this day. Quick cars need good corners to brake into properly to get the car balanced, drive through, and accelerate out of. With the way this track was set up, you spent all of the track time trying to identify the corners and so had to pussy-foot around. I would not consider this again or recommend it to anyone.
6th gear is not worth it. Stay away. there are two main issues: 1) the experience. 6th gear targets people who want to have a cruise in a sports car not a track experience. They do not push you or help you to have fun. they keep you thousand of miles away from your own limit. the worst of the experience was that 2 out of my 3 laps were done behind other car (including a demonstrator car who laps very slowly). i was not refunded and did not get my money back. I could have had the same experience on those two laps with my normal BMW. the instructor also doesn't allow you to do the optimal trajectory as there are some fast demonstrator lap and that uses the right part of the lane: you are screwed as you have to keep the exterior part of the curve. Also my Ferrari had some issues at the beginning to up in rpm...weird... I don't know if they have some systems to cut the power at a certain point which was not working well at the beginning. they also charge you £25 more the insurance and they do not tell you about that on the phone! 2) the track at Longcross. it is not a proper track. it is more a road in the middle of the forest. it is hilly, cool in a way, but very difficult to have fun for an amateur they driver did not admitted i was held up for 2 laps. so they only offered me a fast lap (the one that goes on the right side of the track!) with a pilot driving this is not worth it. if you want to have a track experience, pay more and do something serious not this *****!
Having been to a 6th Gear Event earlier in the year I booked a return visit in October. I was very impressed with the organisation, the staff and the cars! The selection of Supercars there on the day was amazing. I found the staff helpful and knowledgeable in the booking process and on the day there were lots of friendly staff.I drove a Lamborghini on my first visit and a Ferrari in October. Both were fantastic and the instructors put me at ease and encouraged me to get the best out of my drive.I am just hoping to get an Aston Martin voucher for Christmas now!!!
I do not usually write reviews but felt that some of these posted here were so different from my experience that a sense of balance is called for. The ONLY negative for me was the cold weather, which is hardly 6th gear's fault, and at least there was somewhere warm to shelter. I had two splendid drives in a DBS and a Murcielago and reached almost 130 mph in both. The organisation was slick and the instructors encouraging and calm. Everyone I came across was polite and helpful. No hesitation in recommending.
i had a junior driving experience in may and it was absolutely amazing!!! I drove an Aston Martin DB9 and although on paper it doesnt sound that quick, it was, i tell you it was very quick! I was a bit nervous at first but it was worth every single penny!! If you are looking at a junior driving experience, dont hesitate, its worth it! John Brady
I've read a few reviews about 6th Gear on here and some are negative, unfairly in my view. I attended a day at Longcross in Surrey in November and had a fantastic drive in a Ferrari 599 and Lamborghini. The staff were friendly, the cars superb and the instructor brilliant. My nephew also had a drive in an Audi R8 and he loved it! Ok so there is an optional insurance cost of £25 but I didn't take it and on hiring a car from Avis last month at Heathrow they offered me the same sort of thing so I don't know what people are complaining about. I'd recommend them anyday. The weather wasn't brilliant but hardly their fault!
I came to a track day with 6th gear experience which my sister brought me for my birthday earlier in the year. I had such a great time!!! I found the office staff very helpful and although there were limited dates available i managed to get in before the end of their season. I went to the track in Surrey which was a bit of a drive for me as i live near Coventry but i found it well worth it. My day started by driving a "race spec" ferrari 360 followed by a Lamborghini Gallardo - it was Unbelievable! All the staff on the day were very polite and allthough it felt it was over quite quickly - i think if i'd been driving round all day it wouldn't of been enough! i really enjoyed myself and i think i know whats for christmas this year:) A big thank you to the whole team.
To put it simply the office made a balls up. I Paid £80 to attend the session in Elvington. but they booked us on another session over 200 miles away, and then claimed it was our fault for not receiving an confirmation email that did not turn up. So the long and short of it, we got swindled! No refund offered, just £20 off if i wanted to book another session!!the cheek! Plus when you actually get the voucher, don't expect to get to choose your date, there are aprox 2 dates at each venue every month, and if you want to go on a Saturday it's £25 extra!
Looked good on the surface but car was in poor condition and brakes were shot. Track at Prodive is very poor due to braking up surface and no real corners. Customer service non existant, took them over a month to respond. Dispite yellow and red warning lights on dash they said brakes were fine but have just spent £6000 replacing them??? They offered a 10% discount if I want to do it again. Not going to waste my with 6th gear again. Will go to a decent outfit with properly maintained cars at a real track.
This was a waste of money in my opinion. The company charged £25 extra in insurance on arrival - or pay £2000 excess if cars got damaged. They wanted £25 for a photo or £30 for a CD or video.The experience started with a long queue followed by a slow drive round the track in a car with 4 other people. The driving experience itself lasted no more than 10 minutes. There was no prior instruction on how to drive the cars properly to get the best from your experience and minimal instruction whilst driving round the track. The track (in Surrey) was small and I got stuck behind slower drivers for much of the drive. Some of the staff were quite condescending.In future I will save my money and do something more worthwhile.
My eldest granddaughter was thirteen in August, hitting your teens is definitely a milestone so we planned to hire a Limo to take her and a few friends out for the evening. She refused this, calling it a tacky waste of money so it was back to the drawing board for 'special' presents to buy her instead.
I struck gold when I read an article about a new experience for teenagers, the 6th Gear Experience Teen Track Attack driving day. Basically this is similar to a Virgin Experience Day, you pay £89 and are sent a pack which gives details of where in the country you can take part in your experience as well as the voucher you will need to present on the day. For this particular experience there is a choice of three cars; Ferrari 360, Aston Martin DB9 or Lamborghini Gallardo. Supercars one and all!
I was happy with the period of time it took from me paying the money to when I received the pack, and phoning to book the experience was also a straight forward process. We attended the Kenilworth course in Warwickshire because we have family in the area who wanted to watch my granddaughter driving her very first car - a Ferrari 360! There are several other courses dotted around the country so it should be easy for you to find one reasonably local to your home.
I wasn't particularly impressed with the venue, it seemed rather chaotic to me and I personally don't believe the necessary safety arrangements were in place considering there are extremely powerful cars racing around with members of the public behind the wheel. I shall tell you more about this later.
When we arrived I was a little annoyed to find we had to park our car on a small badly maintained car park and then queue up for a shuttle bus to take us a mile or so to the venue. This seemed bizarre to me, especially when the shuttle bus drove onto the track so that we were in a small old bus with Lamborghini's racing around us. I actually became rather nervous at this point and I know several of the people in the bus with us felt the same.
When we got off the bus we had to go and register my granddaughter's details in a small hut which was quite literally crammed shoulder to shoulder with people. There was no organisation in the hut and the several queues seemed to have merged into one with no-one really knowing where best to go. This track runs lots of different courses so obviously there is a registration point for each course, unfortunately these are not sign posted so, like me, you may find yourself queuing up for 15 minutes only to be told when you get to the front that you in fact needed to be in a completely different line.
The main problem here was the young women who were supposed to be handling the queues and taking details were far too busy chatting amongst themselves, using their mobile phones and one was even brushing her hair. In the meantime the queues were getting longer and chaos reigned!
When I was eventually dealt with we had to wait for another shuttle bus which would take us to the area of the site where the young people were to undertake their experience. Again we were competing for road space alongside amazingly powerful and fast cars and again this felt rather hair raising and unnecessary to me.
Once we arrived at the driving area we were shown to a small gazebo which had been erected next to the track and asked to take a seat until it was my granddaughter's turn to take to the wheel. There hasn't been much thought put into seating arrangements and there were literally half a dozen cheap plastic seats strewn around the general area, as there were nine of us in our party not all of us were able to sit down and as we were in for rather a long wait this was slightly annoying.
The actual driving experience was superb. My granddaughter giggled her way around the track and coped admirably with such a large and powerful car. The instructor who sat next to her was excellent, he made a point of putting our minds at rest that she was indeed going to be safe and he discussed with her some safety aspects of the drive. She didn't pull away in the Ferrari until he was satisfied that she understood everything he had told her and she seemed to be sitting in the car for quite a while before actually driving away.
The experience lasted for 15 minutes and involved several laps around the fairly large track, my granddaughter said it seemed to be over in the blink of an eye but she thoroughly enjoyed herself and admitted it was one of her best birthday presents despite not exactly being overjoyed when I originally gave her the gift.
The safety issues I mentioned earlier are worth bearing in mind. Obviously the onus is on the adult to ensure their charges are safe, but I felt the barriers were too flimsy to have been of any real use in an emergency and one section of the track had no safety barriers whatsoever. When we went back to the main track for my granddaughter to have her high speed lap in a Lamborghini I noticed lots of very small children running around and playing far too close to the track and it terrified me to be honest.
Having said this, I still 100% recommend the Teen Track Attack experience. There is a minimum height limit of 4ft 10ins for the Ferrari driving and children need to be slightly taller to drive the Lamborghini and Aston Martin.
At the end of her experience my granddaughter was presented with a certificate and there is also the opportunity to buy a photograph of your child behind the wheel. Unfortunately these photographs are taken partway along the track so I didn't buy one due to the fact that you could just see the crown of her head above the car, personally I think it would have been far better to take the photograph before the experience where the child is standing alongside the car in full view.
This location holds plenty of different car related experience days so I recommend you visit http://www.6thgearexperience.com/ to see if there is anything you fancy. The overall prices seem to be slightly lower than other companies who host these events so it may be worth you checking this site before booking elsewhere.