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Drifting your Corvette (or any rwd car!) - Oulton Park, Cheshire

Added to Calendar: 12-04-19

#1

Drifting your Corvette

Calendar Event: 12 Apr
You may have read about a "driving day" in the October edition of Vette News when some members had the chance to drive their Corvettes to the max in safe conditions and learn a lot too. On the planning front, this was a joint venture between David Smitheram and myself. David & I have been discussing the possibility of trying another type of event aimed at both fun and learning. He has, using his contacts, set up a discount for members only at a "drift day" at Oulton Park in Cheshire. Before you say "No way!!", read what he has to say below and watch the videos via the links provided.

If you do want to give it a go, please make your own arrangements on the the number below and email me [markfceaton {at} gmail.com] to confirm so we can liaise with the organisers, monitor interest in this event and possible future ones. Please note a helmet is required. If you don't own such an item, one can be hired at the venue for £10 or so [please mention when calling]. Here is what Dave has written regarding the event:

A recent topic cropped up on the CCCUK forum called "why did you buy your Corvette?" It produced some fascinating answers but surprisingly not one person mentioned rear wheel drive as a factor yet I am pretty certain that if Corvettes were "wrong wheel drive", they wouldn't have the same appeal. Rear wheel drive has many well known dynamic advantages but for me, they are just more fun. Call me childish, but feeling a car steer from the rear is part of the joy of driving for me. BUT, big, powerful V8,crowded roads and a lack of driving godliness do not make for a happy mix. So, how do we learn to control that potentially lively rear end and produce beautifully controlled powerslides [intentional or otherwise]? The handling day at North Weald airfield back in the summer was enjoyed by all who attended with new skills learnt but left a desire for more

I mentioned to the group a brilliant drift day that I had taken part in at Oulton Park, Cheshire, in a previously owned BMW a few years back. Constructed of purpose-built polished and wetted concrete, two separate courses are driven at slow speeds [1st and 2nd gear only] with the intention of joining together [transitioning] a series of corners. The slick surface results in virtually no wear to tyres or components of stone chipping of precious paintwork although a jet wash is needed afterwards.

Forget about images of tyre shredding, clouds of smoke and "yoofs" in lairy Japanese turbo nutter cars - these special days are just not like that. They are the perfect opportunity to learn, practice and enjoy the art of getting your Corvette sideways, maintaining a slide and then bringing the car back "under control"

Friday 12th April is the first Oulton Park drift day of 2019, one of just a few days available throughout the year. The MSV website mentions this is a day for "drivers with drift experience" but what they actually mean is that it is not a day for selfish drivers who waste time. Basically, if you spin [and everyone does], you just drive normally for a few corners and then attempt to drift again. That way, you don't hold up anyone behind you. Professional drifters will not do this event - it is very much about practice and fun and I can't recommend it enough for beginners. Your confidence levels will soar and you will learn skills that will help your safety in wet or wintry conditions. The day will sell out therefore we have reserved 10 place to give you a chance of booking by March. The day is usually priced at £135 but we have arranged a 10% discount by quoting "CCCUK" or "the Classic Corvette Club" when booking over the phone on 0843 453 3000 NB you can't get the discount online

Here are some videos of me driving circuit number 1

and circuit number 2 [with mistakes at the end!]:

I look forward to seeing you there.

Regards, David Smitheram

This is very much on a first come - first served basis, so if you want to be a part of it, please engage a forward gear and give it some throttle asap!

Cheers,

Mark

Mark Eaton


Last edited by Invetterate on Thu 27 Dec 18 13:10; edited 2 times in total. [4 %]
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'99 C5 A4 Coupe



Fishy Dave
Club Member
Thu 27 Dec 18 16:58
Re: Drifting your Corvette

Just to emphasise, this is a fun, learning day, don't worry, you don't need to be an expert. You will go away with a massive grin on your face and minimal wear to your car. I'm looking forward to it already.
 
#2
Do you know what other dates might be available later? The reason I ask is that I'm on night shift either side of the event, 12 hours each. Which means to attend the event I'd have to book off 3x 8hr days! Alternatively, is there any recommended places to stay nearby? Could travel up the night before, get up to do the day, then drive down for work afterwards.

Looks really good though. I learnt so much when I did a couple of track days on my first motorbike, it would be nice to do the same for my first big car. I must admit that I nearly got caught out the first couple of times I tried nailing it. A little too damp, on old tyres, and an un-expected kick-down into 1st gear lead to a lot of frantic wheels spinning and certain parts of my anatomy were doing the 50p/5p/50p/5p motions! Not so bad now I'm more able to judge what the car's about to do so I can avoid too much wheel spin, plus newer & better tyres (Goodyear Eagle F3 Asymmetric).
 
#3
At this stage Gavin future dates might depend on how well this first event is supported.
When the Club are "out on the road" we have been using Premier Inns and there is one about 3 miles from Oulton Park.
Northwich Sandiway and a room on Thurs 11th April is £65 flex (cancellable up to 1 pm on the day) or £49.50 no refund

If you can, try and make this event - there are still places available
 
#4
Hope you can make it Gavin, so far we have four people who have booked including myself. The organisers have been good and have charged the 10% discounted amount, rather than waiting until we have ten takers. This day would make you more comfortable with that feeling of the car moving around unexpectedly, such as the scenario you faced on the road with wheel spin on kick-down. :)
 
#5
Just need to sort out timings, because loosing 3 days of annual leave for a 1 day event is a bit of a pain. Might see if we can mix it in with a weekend away (Chester Zoo?)

Can I ask how much track time you get in reality? I've done some bike track days (not with MSV though) and they came in at 6-7 sessions at about 20 mins each. And there's definitely not too much tyre wear? I've just (last week!) fitted a full set of Goodyear Eagles, at a total cost of £700!
 
#6
There will be 20 people split between the two circuits (you can swap between the two as you wish), to begin with you will wait about ten minutes between each run, but by lunchtime people start to take breaks or even go home early. By the last hour I could almost go out as often as I wanted. You get plenty of track time, you won't wish for more by the end of the day.
I had no noticeable tyre wear at the end of the day, my car was 340bhp and 1480kg for reference. :)
 

DeaNZ

CCCUK Member
#7
I'm travelling up from Essex on the Thursday night before. Got a local hotel booked. Not decided yet whether going to stay on Friday night or drive home. Looking forward to the day and seeing how well / badly my C5 handles.
 
#8
There will be 20 people split between the two circuits (you can swap between the two as you wish), to begin with you will wait about ten minutes between each run, but by lunchtime people start to take breaks or even go home early. By the last hour I could almost go out as often as I wanted. You get plenty of track time, you won't wish for more by the end of the day.
I had no noticeable tyre wear at the end of the day, my car was 340bhp and 1480kg for reference. :)
Wow, that looks like a lot of track time. I'll certainly make some enquiries.
 
#9
I'm travelling up from Essex on the Thursday night before. Got a local hotel booked. Not decided yet whether going to stay on Friday night or drive home. Looking forward to the day and seeing how well / badly my C5 handles.
I'm thinking of doing the same (but from south Wales). I haven't booked a hotel yet. If you like, it might be fun to meet up at breakfast etc (since I guess we'll both be arriving late).

Regarding driving home, I think it depends when it finished. The traffic on an evening can be atrocious down the M6. When I picked up my Camaro in Stoke by 4pm I couldn't even get on the M6, the traffic was backed up off the road. I ended up driving cross country to Newport, then meeting up with a friend for a coffee and a chat, then set out again after half 6, and it was plain sailing after that.

So I'll probably drive south avoiding the M6 for a little while, then stop for dinner some where to avoid the worst of the traffic.
 
#14
How far is it for you?
Probably not as far as for others, but I did say it put "me" off it due to logistics. I have no doubt others from further away would do it happily. Back in the day I would have happily driven up early in the day, did the fun, and then driven back. But alas nowadays I'd need to go up the night before, sleep a lot in a hotel, and then go to the event and casually cruise back afterwards :LOL:
 
#15
I know the feeling. I'm staying over the night before. My issue is that it's right in the middle of a set of 3 night shifts, which is a pain. And given I only get 14.5 shifts of holiday a year I don't really want to book a whole week off for just one trip out. Probably going to take night before off, drive up and stay in a B&B, drift, then drive back down Friday evening, and go into work a little late and do the rest of my last shift. Should manage with just 1 shift off, plus a couple of hours toil.
 
#18
Count me in, I'll book it when the phone lines open. I've driven on a frozen lake back when I was shooting for car magazines and have done Shelsey Walsh in my C4.
Excellent pics, be glad to have you along. :)

I've had an update from the organisers, they have a total of just 7 places left. I have again asked that they keep a number of these for us, as those members not online will not know about the event until the next issue of Vette News hits their doormat.
 

Kicks on 66

Administrator
Staff member
#19
Excellent pics, be glad to have you along. :)

I've had an update from the organisers, they have a total of just 7 places left. I have again asked that they keep a number of these for us, as those members not online will not know about the event until the next issue of Vette News hits their doormat.
May I suggest a mailshot from the regional reps? If you can email the details to them they will forward it to the members. 👍🏻
 
Last edited:
#20
I have a provisional timetable now:
Arrival and signing on: 07.30am
Safety briefing: 08.30am
Sighting laps: 09.00am
Drifting commences: 09.30am
Lunch break: 13.00pm – 14.00pm
Day ends: 17.00pm
 
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