Gift experience day at Silverstone is full of speed and thrills
If the man in your life loves cars and wants to drive a fast one, then there is no better place than Silverstone near Towcester.
And no, I’m not being sexist. I was invited to try out the taster day for a brand new product, the TrackAttack experience day, and all nine drivers were men.
They spent the day driving some of the fastest and most exciting cars in the business on the world famous F1 track near Buckingham and Towcester.
Not only did they release their inner James Bond in an Aston Martin, but they took the wheel of a Ferrari, raced one another in Formula Silverstone single seater race cars and then tackled an obstacle course in a Caterham.
Fast cars do have testosterone appeal and the guys on the taster day had travelled from far and wide for the experience - in England from Cambridge, Manchester, Gloucestershire and Buckinghamshire, and from abroad America, Poland and Israel.
This is not a cheap experience (£778), and the guys, ranging in age from their 20s through to 50s, were successful businessmen indulging themselves in something special.
But this is just one of the experiences available to buy as gifts for birthdays, special occasions and Christmas and there are others which cost far less.
Not wanting to take the wheel myself on this TrackAttack, I took along my son, who said the day had fully met his expectations and he would love to do it again.
The day began with breakfast of bacon rolls and cookies, followed by a full briefing from professional racing driver and host Robert Barff then straight onto the southern part of the Grand Prix circuit for a whizz around in the Aston Martin V8 Vantage.
Kitted out with helmets, the guys had elite instructors with them, who drove the first laps, before they took the wheel themselves.
Next up came the Ferarri V8 F430, again with an instructor taking the wheel initially. The general consensus was that this was a really lovely car to drive and easier because by this time the drivers knew the track and the corners.
We were then taken into Towcester for a two course lunch before returning for the Formula Silverstone single seater experience.
Robert took the guys through the controls and an explanation of what the different flags meant, then they all got into racing overalls and a different helmet - this one with a visor - before climbing into the racing cars. Cameras were attached to these cars so that everyone would have a video of their racing experience. Lead cars took them around the track a few times before they pulled away and the nine guys were left to drive around the track themselves.
From the viewing tower I had a great view of the entire track and so saw the car in front of my son skid to a stop, and another go off the track onto the grass.
But safety is paramount at Silverstone with trained instructors, marshals in the pit, every corner is watched, screens monitor everything, and these were minor incidents that were soon rectified by the drivers themselves.
Next up was a trip in the minibus to am asphalted area where cones had been set up to enable the guys to try out their handling of the Caterham.
The day ended with sausage rolls and cake and the presentation of medals and Driver of the Day.
Details for the TrackAttack and all other gift experiences available at Silverstone, ranging in price from £45 upwards, can be found on the website, www.silverstone.co.uk