Vinayak learns how to drive fast, and how not to crash – both quite useful skills!
The confines of a racetrack – for someone who’s into motor vehicles or motorsport, there are few better places than a facility purpose-built to allow people to flex their right foot. Unfortunately, one doesn’t always live up to whatever ideal of fast driving that they have in their mind. That’s because if you drive beyond your natural ability and experience, you can end up looking decidedly less than impressive. In the worst case scenario, you can cause lakhs worth of damage, serious injury to yourself or your passengers, or even lose your life while fulfilling your need for speed.
That last bit is, thankfully, not much of a possibility at a facility like Greater Noida’s Buddh International Circuit. It was here that the Audi Sportscar Experience was held where customers, brand ambassadors, and the media were able to get their hands on the TT, RS7 Sportback, and RS6 Avant for the purpose of pushing these cars around the 5.141-kilometre circuit that played host to the Formula 1 Indian Grand Prix from 2011 to 2013.
But we were able to do more than just experience these awesome machines that produce 227, 560 and 552bhp respectively, around the racetrack. We had the closest thing that I can think of to a driving coach in Aditya Patel. The 27-year-old has been one of the best circuit racing talents to come out of India, and is currently an Audi supported driver in the R8 LMS Asia Cup, along with being their brand ambassador. Not only did he, and former national motorcycle rally champion, Rohitaaz Kumar, brief us before letting us out on track, but Patel drove in front of the media convoy – allowing each driver to follow him in turn and learn the correct braking, turn-in and acceleration points around the 16-turn circuit. We also took turns driving each of the different models on offer from Audi.
And boy did I wish I hadn’t come to the circuit that day with an upset stomach! Concentrating while pushing high-performance machines is taxing enough for someone who doesn’t spend nearly as much time on a racetrack as my colleagues (they practically live at it). To do so while trying not to vomit while tackling a series of fast changes of direction – turn five to the parabolica – takes some of the joy out of driving quickly.
But, really, who am I to complain? I’ll take whatever I can get – whether I feel like Superman soaking up sunlight in space, or like when he gets gassed by weaponized kryptonite! Driving fast cars fast is nice enough, but being told how to do so without crashing is even better. Sincere thanks to Aditya and Audi India.
Audi supported racing driver Aditya Patel helped us keep expensive cars away from crash barriers