Ape Racing with our Competition Winner

We recently had a Twitter offer that gave someone the chance to enjoy the exclusive Red Letter Days Ape Racing, and the lucky winner was Lisa Duffy!

All that we asked in return was that we got some words and pictures for our blog readers to get a real sense of the experience. Me & the Ape 650 X 300 This was how it all started…

Understandably, Lisa was delighted to have been chosen. This is what she had to say: “When I found out that I had won, I was so excited – I never win anything!”

“On the day, I arrived at the venue, learning quickly it was the only place in the UK to race the Ape (pronounced ap-ay). I was shown to a room to pick overalls and a helmet. Next came safety basics and a brief overview of the controls. Having only ever been on a motorbike once, I felt like a complete novice. But luckily no-one else had driven an Ape before either. Apes ready to go 650 X 300 We were put into teams and assigned numbers – two teams of four and two of three from Red Letter Days, plus three teams of series drivers (who gave us some instructions and tips  – don’t use the front brake, pick a door to get in and out of for the changeovers, and stick your bum out of the door when it starts to tip over!) Me in Ape 2 650 X 300 I was the first of our team to head out, managing to avoid stalling when coming out of the pits and going easy round the first bend as instructed, before putting the accelerator on as much as possible. This was not the best plan as I nearly tipped over at the next corner! It took a few laps to get used to the controls and to stop trying to use the foot brake as the accelerator. Changeover was not as easy as expected – I managed to stall it every time! Once I got the hang of things though, I did not want to stop. Me in Ape 650 X 300 Everyone got a practice turn, then it was time to determine starting positions. One of our team drove straight into the tyre wall during a qualifying lap. Luckily there were no injuries, but the track guys had to bend the thing back into shape and tie one of the doors closed!

We were positioned last on the grid. The Le Mans-style start was exciting. Standing on the other side of the track, there was a race to get to the Ape, start and be off! Some teams really wanted to win, getting serious about tactics and when to change drivers during the two and a half hour race. Our team tactics were just to all have roughly the same time driving and enjoy it rather than trying to go all out to win.

Time flew and it was just as much fun watching the racing and cheering on team mates as driving! We also chatted to the series drivers about their previous races and their tactics and driving styles. Ready set go 650 X 300 We managed to gain a place during the race and finished 6th rather than 7th. I was the only female racing (not sure whether the fact I had won the experience or I was female that was the most fascinating thing to the other drivers). There was a presentation at the end with the top two teams receiving medals.

trying to keep all 3 wheels down 650 X 300 It was a fantastic day out and big thanks go to Red Letter Days for making it happen!”

Happy to oblige Lisa Duffy, we’re glad you had such a good time and thanks for the review!

IMAGES: courtesy of lisa duffy


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