Taking on the drift experience at Goodwood

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As a new driving experience, designed to give drivers a taste of car handling, is launched at Goodwood Motor Circuit, Sheena Campbell went to find out more.

I’M a bit of a petrol-head so when I was given the opportunity to try out the new state-of-the art low- grip surface at Goodwood in a 2012 Toyota GT86 I was practically wagging my tail with excitement.

Reporter Sheena Campbell tried out the new Drift Experience at Goodwood Motor Circuit in a Toyota GT86. Photo by Bex Bastable

Reporter Sheena Campbell tried out the new Drift Experience at Goodwood Motor Circuit in a Toyota GT86. Photo by Bex Bastable

Ever since my dad had a bronze and brown Toyota Celica when I was younger I have wanted to get my hands on one of the brand’s sportier models.

To be given the chance to do it at Goodwood was too good to pass up.

As the day dawned, however, I started to get a bit nervous about how exactly I was going to manage to ‘achieve the perfect sideways drift’ and manage loss of grip with the electronic steering control (ESC) off as advertised in the promotional material.

I needn’t have worried.

I found myself wishing my original driving instructor was as patient, and skilled, as drift instructor Kevin Crowley who demonstrated how to manage loss of grip, with ESC both on and off, on the ice-like surface, before letting me take control.

With the ESC on, it seemed almost impossible to get the car to slide.

However, with it off I was living out Bond fantasies within minutes.

The point of the drift experience is to give drivers a better understanding of car control and how to manage loss of grip, something which is increasingly important given our recent snow and ice-laden winters.

However, it also gives you the chance to practice the perfect sideways drift in safe, controlled conditions and, even at low speeds, this was highly addictive.

In fact, I think I enjoyed it more when I messed up and span than when I managed to correct a skid – as you can probably tell from the amount of times it happens in this video.

My half-hour experience absolutely flew by, helped by the fact the Toyota GT86, with its 200-DIN hp 2.0-litre boxer engine and rear-wheel drive, handled like a dream.

For any car-loving, thrill seekers out there this is definitely worth a trip.

The Drift Experience is part of a plan to develop a wider range of Goodwood driving experiences at the Motor Circuit.

It is £49 for 30 minutes and £89 for one hour’s tuition.

It can also form part of a broader package, with lunch for two in the Bar & Grill and access to the Health Club for the day for £99 with a 30-minute Drift Experience or £139 for a one-hour Drift Experience.

To book a Goodwood Drift Experience visit www.goodwood.com or telephone 01243 755055.