Joined: 14 Aug 2006
|Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:46 am Post subject: An enjoyable race car drive spoilt by dual controls
|An enjoyable race car drive spoilt by dual controls
I purchased one of the Red Balloon drives in a Radical Race car and yesterday went to the recently renamed Eastern Creek Raceway in Sydney for the drive.
The opportunity to get behind the wheel of one of these UK manufactured radical race cars is certainly a fun experience and the acceleration and braking is quite something.
The Radical SR3RS is the world's most successful sports-racer.
0-100 in 3 seconds, 2.5g's of force in corners and under brakes it's faster than a V8 around the circuit. This is the real deal. A proper race car.
The SR3 RS is powered by a 1340cc Powertec four-cylinder engine sourced from incredible Suzuki Hayabusa superbike, with a 10,500rpm redline and runs a six-speed sequential stick shift transmission with a clutch.
The combination of sticky slick Dunlop tyres and down-force through the aerodynamics kit provides excellent grip.
The safety features in the SR3 RS include Radical's FIA specification crash box and a central safety cell which has been tested to resist 11 tonnes of force from every angle making it the safest track day car on the market.
These 500kg race cars are sensational to drive and really quite poised on the racetrack with their power to weight ratio, downforce and Dunlop tyres.
The set-up is very well organised and there were a lot of staff on hand to ensure that everything was going smoothly. I received a briefing from my co-driver/instructor which was comprehensive and then proceeded to sit in the car whilst the crew prepared my seating position etc.
Once everything was set I nudged the race car out onto the track.
A number of times I went hard into some of the bends of the small track and felt minimal movement in the body of the Radical which is testament to the chassis set-up and tyres used on these race cars.
The acceleration and braking on the Radical is very impressive and once you gain your confidence the car can be driven hard in and out of corners provided you are mindful of maintaining a good balance on the car as any sudden movement will quickly unsettle the chassis.
One of the reasons I selected the Radical over the chance to drive a Formula Ford was the fact these cars are driven two-up with an experienced instructor next to you.
Having an instructor provided the chance to be better directed around the track and to be encouraged to drive harder into corners and receive guidance on the best way to drive these very quick race cars.
The down-side of my drive was the instructors continual use of the dual controls whereby he was over-riding my intended braking into corners. This was OK during the initial phase of what is a short drive (only 6 laps) as a way of demonstrating the capabilities of the car but certainly served to spoil my drive in the later laps. A number of times in the later stages of the drive I really did find it off-putting as I set up for a corner to suddenly find the instructor braking the car for me.
The dual controls are perfect to on-track manage inexperienced or over-confident drivers. How the instructors use these controls is always a matter for their judgement.
If you are neither an inexperienced or over-confident driver maybe this Red Balloon experience is not for you...............otherwise if you buy one of these drives make sure you work hard and quickly on making your instructor feel comfortable with your abilities so they keep their foot away from the dual control brakes.
For more information on these drives visit: http://www.theformulacompany.com/Home/Driving-Experiences/Radical
JEff - Editor