SILVERSTONE CIRCUIT - Towcester, UK
Having the opportunity to drive a Ferrari is one thing, but being able to smash it flat out around one of the most famous race tracks in the world is another. Silverstone Circuit, a regular fixture on the Formula 1 and MotoGP calendar, is around 130km from Central London and well worth the drive.
For my 30th, my wife bought me the opportunity to experience 11 laps of the circuit. This is one that all motor enthusiasts need to drive to believe. You get five laps behind the wheel of a Lotus Exige with a traditional gearbox and clutch, and five behind the wheel of a Ferrari F430 Scuderia with a 6 speed ‘F1’ electrohydraulic manual paddle shift gearbox. The 11th lap is as the passenger of a pro racecar driver in the Lotus, which was truly full throttle and on the edge. As good as that was, it didn’t quite top the feeling of having a 4.3L V8 Ferrari engine with 490 bhp and top speed of 196mph (315kmh) in my control around the world famous circuit. The car is so smooth, handling is superb, and the sound of the Ferrari engine performing with ease will give you chills.
To say the drive back to London in a Ford Festiva (with a 0—62 mph time of 10.3 seconds) was dull is a bit of an understatement.