How many car manufacturers let you drive a circuit for just £9 or even, if you are lucky, for free? Some manufacturers offer track or driving experiences but these are often at some considerable cost. The Mercedes Benz World at Brooklands is not cheap and some manufacturers even charge you more if you collect your car direct from the factory. My old neighbour collected his Lamborghini from the factory in Italy, had a great experience but then managed to crash it into a lake when he got back home. I have been lucky enough to drive some fantastic cars and drive on some great circuits, but this has been expensive.
Anyway, back to Abarth Day, and why this is a quite remarkable experience. Hiring a circuit for even just a couple of days is staggeringly expensive. Then charging next to nothing for people to experience the cars and track is mind blowing. Mind you, taking a cute looking Fiat Cinquecento and turning it into a little monster of an Abarth boy racer is no mean feat either.
So what do you get? A drive on the track, admittedly short but still a chance to drive an Abarth like you have stolen it. You get a passenger drift experience, with plenty of tyre smoke. You get an autotest drive against the clock and around the cones (I was fastest driver for a while, but then I was only the second person to attempt it). Lastly there are the displays of classic, contemporary and racing Abarths. There is also the opportunity to take your own car on the circuit the day before.
So whether you own an Abarth or not, whether you went this year or not, look out for Abarth Day 2019. It’s hats off to Abarth for a truly unique day and for making a circuit driving experience accessible for everyone.