Have you ever dreamed of driving a Lamborghini or a Ferrari GT car on the track?
With the PureSport GT program you can realize your dream. A day with Puresport means passion, adrenaline, technology, entertainment will let you drive of cars like Ferrari 430 GT and Lamborghini Gallardo on track in safety, with teaching professionals who will conduct you through this fantastic experience.
There is a strong link among Ferrari brand, motorsport and UAE. Abu Dhabi is the ultimate destination for motorsport action during the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, a welcome return to the UAE capital’s ground-breaking Yas Marina Circuit. Following its highly-acclaimed debut as part of the 2009 Formula 1 Championship, the Abu Dhabi race has established a fast-growing and dedicated following around the world, with a sell-out crowd of 55,000 spectators expected at 2013’s event.
Always in the UAE, you can find Ferrari World, the first and at the moment unique Ferrari themed amusement park on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The iconic roof of Ferrari World was designed by Benoy Architects and it is modelled after the side profile of a Ferrari GT.
Following this common feeling in the UAE, we decided to experience and share the emotion of driving a Ferrari on the race track. This event was possible thanks to Puresport, racing schools organizing courses for private pilot and companies on race cars. The technical team Puresport is made up of specialists with solid experience in piloting courses on race, that guarantee perfect mastery of the method of teaching safety to deal with your experience in GT & Formula cars.
The Autodromo Nazionale Monza is a race track located near the city of Monza, north of Milan, in Italy. The circuit’s biggest event is the Formula One Italian Grand Prix, which has been hosted there since 1922.
The site has three tracks – the 5.793 kilometres (3.600 mi) Grand Prix track is the one used for the GT program.
The day begins with a detailed briefing for the drivers and a presentation of the cars (Ferrari F430 and Lamborghini Gallardo). Immediately after the briefing, ready to go.
Plenty of tension when you are inside the car, especially if you have not ever been driving a Ferrari; having experience with circuit driving helps but is not essential. The presence of the instructor by your side let you feel safe in any case.
There are only 3 proper corners at Monza, the two Lesmos and the Parabolica, so cars are set up with maximum performance on the straights.
Cars approach the first corner at the maximum speed (340 kmh in seventh gear for a Formula1, 260 kmh with a GT car) and brake at about 120 metres (390 ft) before the first chicane – the Variante del Rettifilo, entering in second gear with our GT.
It is important to accelerate out of the first chicane as straight as possible and with minimal wheelspin, as a lot of time will be lost through the Curva Grande down to the Variante della Roggia chicane in 5th gear. The braking point is just under the bridge. This chicane is probably the best overtaking chance on the lap during a race, as it is the only one with the “slow corner, long straight, slow corner”.
The Curve di Lesmo are two corners that are not as fast as they used to be, but are still challenging corners. The first is blind, entered in 3rd gear, and dropping to 4th gear and has a slight banking. The second is 4th gear entry, apexing in 3rd gear, and very important and all the kerb is used.
The downhill straight down to Variante Ascari is very bumpy under the bridge. Variante Ascari is a very tricky sequence of corners, approached in 3rd gear and where you use the 4th gear to exit.
The final challenge is the Curva Parabolica, approaching in 3rd gear, and exiting in 4th gear accelerating onto the main start/finish straight. A good exit and slipstream off a fellow driver along the main straight could produce an overtaking opportunity under heavy braking into Variante del Rettifilio; however, it is difficult to follow a leading car closely through the Parabolica as the tow will reduce downforce and cornering speed.
Maximum speed achieved in a 2009 Formula One car is 369 kilometres per hour, achieved at the end of the start/finish straight by Juan Pablo Montoya in 2005. Rubens Barrichello recorded the fastest ever pole position lap at Monza in 2004 when he lapped in 1m20.089s. But in the pre-qualifying session for the same race (which did not count for a grid position but only Q-running order), Juan Pablo Montoya lapped the track in 1m19.525s which remains the fastest lap ever recorded in an F1 car.
The second lap goes definitely better than the first one. Knowing the circuit let the instructor give you less directions on the gear to be set or on the trajectories to be followed .
Moreover, I had this experience shortly after the Formula 1 Grand Prix, so the trajectories were evident, thanks to the signs on the tracks left by the Formula 1 cars.
Even though the acceleration is really amazing, it is the braking system of these GT cars leaving you with no words. From 260 to 50 kmh in less than 200 meters. Sometimes not being accustomed to such speeds, an unexperienced driver will brake too much in advance and will find himself almost stopped, 100 meters from the curve or even far.
After the emotion of driving the Ferrari, Puresport gave us a chance to drive even the Lamborghini Gallardo. Two different cars, two different styles. But the thrill of driving the circuit remains. And lap after lap you go on becoming familiar with the circuit, remembering the braking points, trajectories and where to push.
One of the most intense experiences lived so far.
Pure emotion. Pure adrenaline.
The only regret.. ended too soon.
But going back to try the GT cars and maybe the “Formula” with the staff of Puresport. Maybe next time on the track in Abu Dhabi…