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When my friend and I were invited as guests by Jaguar to their track day at Oulton Park, I was filled with excitement, yet also very nervous. There's somewhat of a stigma attached to girls going to these types of events, so I wasn't sure what to expect really.
However being the car lovers that we are, we were not put off and arrived on the day looking forward to what was in store for us.
After a delicious lunch, we were given a talk about the history of Jaguar and information on the cars we would be driving that day- XFR, XKR, XF Diesel S and XJ Supersport.
In different coloured teams, we were told we would alternate who did which activities. As part of the red team, we were first group behind the wheel to take the stunning XKR and XJ Supersport round the track. Then a hot lap experience with a professional driver in the most powerful model- the XKR-S. This was followed by driving the XFR on an ice road and around obstacles and finally taking the XF Diesel S around the track to end the day.
Red team's activity was driving around the track first, we put our safety helmets on and there was little time for me to get nervous, our driver was introduced to us and we were off! The track at Oulton Park is packed full of fast corners with not too many straight stretches so I was listening to the driver's every instruction as she guided me when to brake and when to accelerate on every turn. We did three laps in each car and by my third each time, I was starting to get used to it and really enjoying what fantastic cars I was driving. Such a firm grip on the road even when you felt like you were going too fast on a bend, the car just guided you round. My favourite was the XJ Supersport, which looked and felt extremely sporty and slick. My top speed was around 95mph which I am now disappointed with, I would have liked to have gone faster! We were marked on our driving skills and I scored 31/45 which for my first time, I was pretty pleased with!
The next part was my favourite, three times around the track with a professional! We hit speeds of 120mph and he drove it with absolute precision, it was such an adrenalin rush! A few people have been known to feel unwell with the bends and hills of the track and the speeds the driver reaches, but personally I loved every minute.
Driving on the ice was interesting to see how once you had the winter settings activated, the car would get you through it with ease. I drove round obstacles after that and again, the car moved with ease and precision with minimal effort on the driver's behalf.
Finally there was a lap in the XF Diesel S which I really enjoyed, we drove it to see how a less sporty, speedy model could take the track and I actually preferred taking this around as I felt like I had more control over it and yet it could still really shift when we needed it to.
All in all, my track day with Jaguar was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and I would recommend anyone to try it if the opportunity arises. We left with big smiles on our faces, a Jaguar goodie bag and even a memory stick with footage of our laps on it. The track day is good fun and exhilarating, but also showed me that Jaguar's are not just an old man's car like many people think, they are fast, modern and beautiful to drive with some pretty cool interior gadgets. I'd definitely have one on my wish list now!