McLaren track day: Running rings around the competition

‘What makes you different is what makes you a McLaren driver’. What does this statement mean to you? Some will grin knowingly, recognising an aspect of their character in this thought-provoking sentence, some will want to discover more; about McLaren, about themselves.

Learning that Harwoods McLaren (New Forest) can provide the opportunity for you to safely test your limits at Goodwood Motor Circuit is the first step in what will be an exciting journey. Harwoods partnership with Goodwood enables us to host dedicated track day events for customers who, for a specially arranged minimal fee, can attend as VIP guests to experience the thrill of the drive on this famous racetrack. You can take your own car to discover its full potential and see a new side to it, and maybe even a new side to yourself too. This is all very inspiring, but what is it really like to be there?

You’ve been anticipating this day for a while and so of course arrive keen and early. If the tantalising entrance to Goodwood doesn’t get your pulse racing, then the tunnel into what is an all-embracing world of historic motorsport is guaranteed to do so. You have arrived, you belong, and you are ready. Adrenaline reserves at maximum, ready to burn.

Driving round to the left you park up and instantly feel at home amongst like-minded guests, some of whom will have brought their special machine. Time to compare notes, experiences, cars and generally network. Not too much time to hang around however, as you soon see in the near distance what you came for. The view is welcoming as it is intriguing, and so it is fitting that as you wander in you are greeted by a member of the Harwoods team. This time it is Hayley. Her enthusiasm is contagious and very welcome. This is going to be good. Like the finest hotel reception, you are quickly up to speed as to what’s what and where. Maximum efficiency starts here, Harwoods style.

You really should go into the office and sign in, but temptation wins, and you are drawn instantly to the McLaren thoroughbred range of cars laid out before you; the 570S, 600LT, 720S, and the rule changing new McLaren GT to name a few. Every curve, line and angle will need to be examined – it would be rude not to. Your host will at some point encourage your signing in, when you will have the opportunity to confirm a few details and organise your track time. Hold on there, you’re not going all Lando Norris quite yet. Goodwood and Harwoods have the safety and enjoyment of your experience as the priority, so your thorough yet light-hearted briefing is the first order of the day. Here you will absorb the rules for the day; Goodwood are keen to reinforce that the use of their exciting track is for pleasure over racing, so yes, fast driving, but respectful of fellow drivers. Helmets are collected here, and so the track experience racks up a notch.

Ollie. Today we are fortunate to have a F2 experienced driver from the professional McLaren driving team. Riding passenger in a McLaren 720S alongside Ollie is both eye-opening and a privilege. Sitting in the pit lane, the casual racing chit chat just builds the excitement – that adrenaline you had in store is about to be used, quite significantly. If you wish, Ollie will talk through every brake, turn and racing line, demonstrating with ease why McLaren cars are bred for this very moment. It is times like this you live for. For a few laps nothing else exists, you are focused, you feel literally every nerve ending firing in your brain. Human and machine in sync. The McLaren almost seems to sound ‘happy’ as the advanced technology runs at its full potential all around you. It is released from the public roads, it comes alive, with the many years of heritage focused on you, equally happy.

Finally, the competition. Then of course there is the opportunity to set yourself free, discover your limits. We started this story with ‘running rings round the competition’, and by now you will have realised this isn’t about racing against others. The competition is yourself, your expectations, your own understanding of your limits. The McLaren spirit brings this out of you, as it becomes part of your being (it really does). Hitting your braking point, your vision moves to making the apex point after which you accelerate and open the steering to exit. But take it easy. Maybe you simply relax and enjoy speeds only permissible right here, right now. How you want to enjoy the experience is up to you, however, a couple of things are guaranteed. Firstly, the Goodwood setting is quite simply perfect, and secondly, if this is a first, you are now a member of the  ‘yes, I’ve driven Goodwood’ club (and it was in a McLaren). So, welcome to yourself plus something extra you gained today, welcome to the Harwoods McLaren track day.

You can discover the unique Harwoods track day experience yourself by visiting the thrilling new McLaren New Forest showroom located in Bramshaw, opening 26th June 2019. The aftersales centre is open now, and with an introductory offer when you book your service, there is no better reason to contact our aftersales team today on 02380 084773.
For updates follow us on facebook @HarwoodsOnline and on Instagram /mclarennewforest

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