Virgin Experience Days - #MakeGivingFun*

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Virgin Experience Days are currently running a Christmas campaign called #MakeGivingFun, which is all based around the idea that we can give our loved ones experiences rather than the typical gift. The brilliance of this is the fact that you can give a memory instead of a material item. Something that they will hold on to forever, rather than only until it breaks - the memory will always be there and it will be thanks to you.

The lovely Virgin team sent me out to Longcross Proving Ground to take part in Make Giving Fun. I had the day with The 6th Gear Experience, so I was able to drive a Ferrari 458 and a Lamborghini Murcielago LP650. What a day it was! I have been given many opportunities in my time with O&U, far more than I could have ever expected, and I will be forever thankful for them all. However this one has risen to the top of the pile - This I could never give enough thanks for.

I couldn't call myself a fast car person. I have had a handful of horrendous experiences involving cars, bikes and speed in general. Experiences that I can't forget; experiences that have put me off the idea of going fast. My idea of the perfect car would be a VW Scirocco, rather than a Bugatti (although I am partial to an Aston Martin). Safety rating and style over speed. Give me a classic car instead of these technological monsters any day - although I have been told that the LP650 isn't riddled with tech.

Contrary to my feelings about burning rubber, I wasn't going to turn down the opportunity and I had always wanted to try it (strangely). It would be rude to say no for one, and I figured that there wouldn't be a better time to challenge my fears than when I would be in a controlled environment with experts around me. I proceeded to suppress my anxiety and get time off work so I could go. When I arrived, I subsequently forgot every worry I had.

Driving the cars was superb. They each has a unique feel to them and were an absolute joy to drive. The Ferrari in particular was incredibly easy to handle and had the acceleration of, well a Ferrari... I guess? Every time my foot gently pressed the pedal, my back straightened and eyes opened wide. Everything else in the world disappeared - it was the classic 'just me and the road' (and the experienced instructor sat beside me).

The Radical hot lap was something else entirely. I have never experienced speeds like it and it was terrifying, yet absolutely astounding. I would do it again in a heartbeat, which is a big deal for someone with such issues beforehand. Part of the reason that this was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had is that it has genuinely helped me with my fears.

Another reason is that it is bloody good fun. I understand that not everyone will come from the experiences that I have had in my life and all I can say is that will make it even better. If you like cars, speed and the idea of having a great memory to add to what I hope is a large collection, this is for you. If you know someone who likes cars, speed and fond memories, take it upon yourself to give them this experience.

To show you how good it was, here is my vlog from the day, including clips of me driving...

Take a look at the perfect gift ideas from Virgin Experience Days here:

Cheers guys,

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