What a treat, couple laps around Monza, under professional instruction, Drivers Briefing and Sighting lap in a minibus! Spoiled for choice between a Porsche GT3, Ferrari 458 or 488 and Lamborghini Huracan or Gallardo, thanks to the strength of our currency my choices were limited to the Gallardo. Not that its anything to complain about, I would have been happy in my rental.
Considering the weather Italy has experienced over the last month, I was relieved to wake up to mist and slight drizzle conditions.
Set in the woodlands outside the city of Monza, the park littered with dog walkers and joggers, track seemingly invisible through the forest of trees, nostalgia is palpable, one just knows something special is about to happen. Nothing like the sound of a wailing Supercar to destroy that silence.
Registration and documentation take a minute, despite the long queue, just love European efficiency! Take in the majestic cars parked ready to go in the pit lane.
Tourbus of participants scheduled ahead of me, slightly disappointed in the commercialism of this experience, quickly snap out of it… great to see the sport thriving and professionalism of Puresport. What a way to make a living!
Go time, we, the only three (rather broken) English speaking drivers are up next. Drivers briefing in the bustling pit lane, instructor encouraging us to be fluid with Bruce Lee type gestures, while my two Columbian classmates nervously relay their intentions with the GT3… all very entertaining.
Time for our sighting lap in the Peugeot Traveller with 2018 Ferrari Challenge champion. Peugeot loaded with 8 souls, we set off, instructor giving running commentary of his actions and intent… run so deep into the first chicane, think we going straight, hard on the brakes and turn… from going through the windscreen I’m now going out the side window! Spend the rest of the lap reliving that moment until I think I hear the instructor suggest we brake at the 250m mark as we fly by the 200m mark, still hard on the gas. At 50m the entire bus stand on our imaginary brakes entering the Parabolica and drift across the line and into the pits. And that’s a lap of Monza says our pro!
Helmets on, we stand in line waiting for our chance. Nobody saying a word. Palms sweating.
Eventually the Gallardo arrives, climb in, plug my helmet into comms, introduce myself to my instructor who explains the controls of the Lamborghini and lays down the rules of the car.
Nervously set out, afraid of any transgressions, 60kph in the left pit lane, then keep right on track not crossing the line into turn one. Don’t check your mirrors, I am here for that he instructs, wtf!!! I soldier on still finding my rhythm as the Huracan appears from nowhere and disappears as quickly. The track is much tighter than it looks on tv or PlayStation and cornering speeds much higher than I’m comfortable with in these (or other) conditions.
Sensory overload of epic proportions. Foreign car, foreign track, foreign power, inclement conditions, horrible gearchange, back seat driver in my helmet. All in all an epic day at another nostalgic racetrack.
Highlight of the day most certainly the lap in the Peugeot Traveller. I want one!
Disappointment of the day (and I use the term very loosely), Gallardo gearchange. What were they (Lamborghini) thinking, manual would have been a much better driving experience!
A great experience and the perfect gift for a petrolhead: https://www.puresport.net/us/