Langley Park Rally School in the Essex countryside is any car enthusiast’s dream. They offer everything from introductory taste courses to one-on-one tuition sessions. And of course, a lot of adrenaline-pumping high-speed rides during this extreme rally driving experience! Read our previous blog about rally driving in Wales and find out some more.
RLD driving expert Jon was lucky enough to give the course a go in a Mini Countryman and Suzuki Swift. Read our Q&A and watch the video to find out more about his experience.
1. Does the location of the rally course affect the experience, and in what way?
The course is set in picturesque countryside, surrounded by rolling fields – it’s a great setting to spend a day trying out your extreme rally driving skills.
2. You drove a Mini and Suzuki. Can you talk about how these two cars/the experiences differ?
The Suzuki Swift is front wheel drive and fantastic fun. The one I drove has featured in the British Rally Championship and it’s very lively in the corners. The Prodrive Mini Countryman WRC Recce car is much more powerful but because it has four wheel drive, it’s more sure footed and gives you the confidence to push it a bit harder.
3. Which one was your favourite to drive, and why?
This is a tricky one. I loved the power in the Mini, but I would say I had a better time throwing the Suzuki around as it’s so nimble and responsive.
4. Can you elaborate on the high-speed passenger ride? What happens and what does it feel like?
You strap into the passenger seat, have a brief chat with the professional rally driver, and then hang on and enjoy the ride! The speed you are driven at is unbelievable and then the handbrake goes up and you’re drifting around a corner with the gravel spraying and a bank bearing down on you. Just before your life flashes before your eyes there’s a twitch of the steering wheel and you’re flicked the other way. The skill of these drivers is incredible, it beats any rollercoaster you’ve ever been on, and when I staggered out of the car at the end, I had a Cheshire cat smile!
5. Do you have to undergo any kind of training or induction before doing a drive?
The first lap you do is slow, as you get used to the layout of the course. The instructors are brilliant and give tips on when to turn, brake and accelerate, so they really ensure you get the most out of it. Rally driving is completely different to driving on the road, so it’s really satisfying when you start to get the basics right.
6. Can amateurs take part in rally drives?
Absolutely. As long as you have a driving licence, anyone can take part. It’s challenging but also an enormous amount of fun – give it a go, you won’t regret it.
Ideal for an adrenaline junkie, check out our rally blast driving experiences.