Now this was definitely a Fast and Furious moment! This experience, located down South in the small town of Chichester, is an absolute must for speed and thrill enthusiasts. After a short drive through country lanes, Gemma and I came across a small dirt track, with signs set up outside for Forster’s Racing School. This opened up into a race buggy heaven.
Once we had parked up, we were introduced to Leo, a former Rally Cross champion! He took us into the customer seating area overlooking the circuit, and explained the day’s events. The customer area is sheltered, and has a number of picnic benches perfect for groups to collectively sit around, or for families to stay and have a picnic lunch. There are also toilets on-site.
Next, Leo went through the safety briefing and control instructions, teaching us all about understeer and oversteer. These are the most important car control tactics to any rage buggy racer. Once we were prepped for our race, we met Steve and John. They assisted us with helmets, and showed us how to get in and out of the buggy safely. We practiced the hand gestures for when to stop, brake and go faster, then off we went!
I was up first! The accelerator felt stiff at first, but the after putting my foot down, I was off. The speed of these rage buggies is incredible – 0-60mph in 4 seconds.
After one lap of getting used to the controls, Steve began gesturing for me to go faster. My nerves kicked in, however the rush of adrenaline and his confidence in me allowed me to pick up speed. After two more laps following the tyre track and sticking to the tight corners, it was onto my final lap… a race against Gemma!
3, 2, 1… Go! Foot down, I was quick around the corners and sped swiftly up the hills. It was great to see the dust come out from under my heels as I flew down the final track to the finish line. With a total time of 1.06, I felt pretty proud of myself.
But not proud enough… Gemma (who should definitely take it up professionally) stormed past at high speed, and we got some great footage of the dust billowing under her buggy. She approached the finish line with a total time of 55 seconds! She was awarded a personal size bottle of bubbly and a fantastic trophy, perfect for display on her desk at work.
But that wasn’t the end of our day. We were nervously awaiting a final lap - not as a driver, but as a passenger, driven by the former rally cross champion himself. I could feel my stomach churning as I climbed into the buggy, because I knew this wouldn’t be any normal car ride. In seconds, we were zooming past obstacles through the fields, and I couldn’t help but scream! The feeling was exhilarating, yet I felt extremely safe in the knowledge of Leo’s experience and control.
What a superb day we had! We will definitely be returning for a re-match. Thanks again to Leo and the team for showing us the ropes and giving us an incredible experience.