Lets Race simulators (above). The winner could go on to be a racing driver like GT4 and BRSCC Mazda driver Jade Edwards (top), development driver for Williams, Susie Wolff (below), or affiliated driver at Sauber and ex-IndyCar star, Simona de Silvestro (bottom)
Here's an amazing opportunity budding racing drivers over 16 – and wouldn't it be great if some girls have a go, or if one of them even won?
The UK’s only full-motion F1 simulator centre, Lets Race, is launching a competition in partnership with multi-championship winning race team, Carlin, and the Henry Surtees Foundation, to take the best racers from the simulated world to the track.
The winner of Lets Race to Reality 2014 will receive a day’s testing in a Carlin Formula 3 car, complete with a dedicated team of mechanics, data engineer and race engineer. Wow!
The competition is open to any driver over the age of 16. The first round during March and April will be held on Lets Race’s 10 full motion simulators in Horley, Surrey (cost £25). The winners will then be invited to take part in a karting event at Buckmore Park in Kent 23 May (cost £65). Here, several heats will whittle them down to the most skilled racers.
A final selection process at Carlin’s headquarters in Surrey will allow participants a real inside glimpse into the world of a professional racing driver. Finalists will take part in various exercises, including a simulator session with a Carlin race engineer, before taking part in an interview process with racing industry professionals, including Former Formula 1 and Motorbike champion John Surtees, OBE. Just meeting such a legend will be prize enough for F1 fans.
Rupert Swallow, MD of Lets Race said, “Carlin has worked with F1 drivers such as Sebastian Vettel, Max Chilton, Daniel Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen, and we are offering competitors in Lets Race to Reality the opportunity to follow in those drivers' footsteps in a Carlin F3 car.”
John Surtees added, “I am very pleased to be part of Lets Race to Reality and offer competitors the chance to experience something that is normally out of reach for even the most ardent motorsport fan. Not only will they create a once in the life time experience for the lucky winner, it will also raise money for the Henry Surtees Foundation and the great causes we are sponsoring.”
See more details, including entry dates and heats, on the Lets Race website
I wept all over again when I watched the movie Senna. The great Ayrton Senna is one of those people who will never be forgotten, and fans can never get enough of him. So the upcoming photography exhibition Senna: Photographs by Keith Sutton in celebration of the 30th anniversary of his debut and the 20th anniversary of his legacy will be a treat for all of us.
Created in partnership with Sutton Images and the Instituto Ayrton Senna, the exhibition launches at Proud Chelsea 6 March to 5 May. See www.proud.co.uk for details and some more amazing period photos.
Keith Sutton is Formula 1’s best-known photographer. His relationship with Senna began when the young Formula Ford driver approached Keith in 1981 asking if he was a professional photographer. Keith says: “When I said I was, he said he needed photos of him racing sending to Brazil on a regular basis. On that day he won his first race and I got some great photos of him celebrating on the podium late in the evening”.
The working relationship that developed lead to Keith photographing this prodigious Brazilian talent and handling all his public relations. He says: “From the moment I first photographed him...I knew I was witnessing an incredibly charismatic and talented young racing driver who would one day go on to become one of Formula One’s legends.” As their friendship blossomed, Keith continued to photograph Senna both on the track and in more private moments, creating the largest archive of this intense and forceful personality.
I’ve decided I like the Renault Clio. I’ve been put off in the past by those soppy Nicole/Papa ads and the fact my mother-in-law drives one. My husband hired the 1.2 with the three-cylinder engine recently when our transport needs diverged too much, and fell in love with it.
The first thing we both liked was that you can plug a phone in and the car instantly finds it, and pops up an option to play music stored on it. I never bother in our Mini, because you have to switch through about three fiddly stages and risk losing 6Music.
Apart from that, the Clio whizzed about like a small bat out of hell, while returning pretty decent fuel economy.
I tried the even more gutsy Clio GT-Line 120 EDC at the Renault driving day. (On the road £17,395, as tested £19,965). Again, it was a thoroughly lively and engaging car to drive. This one had the six-speed EDC (Efficient dual-clutch) gearbox, and it was excellent, changing gears in a blink.
The only thing that would bother me if I owned a Clio would be the quality of the interior plastics, which are still – well, plasticky.
Its retained values, while not a disaster, are not the strongest, either. But if I was to buy this car and keep it as long as my mother-in-law has owned her reliable little Clio, I’m sure I’d enjoy it.
A wet grey day probably wasn’t the best time to drive a Twizy. More revered journalists than me have said this one-seater is all the car you need. Looking at it, I thought it would be perfect for delivering pizza. But it wouldn’t work for my biggest need: delivering my husband to the train in the morning, because there’s only one seat.
The pizza joint would have to be in Palm Springs. The side screens that zip on top of the mosquito wing doors remind me of the wet-weather kit for a classic motorcycle sidecar. They don’t fit. And there’s no heater.
I was heading from the test day to Tetbury three miles away. By halfway I was freezing cold and my feet were getting dripped on. I suddenly realized, too, that it would be quite embarrassing driving this thing around. It’s kind of funny looking.
So I turned it round before I got to the town and hot-footed it back. Even if I had a way of plugging it in at my garage- and drive-deprived home, I don’t want one.
This blog is by a woman driver, for everyone to read