Have Your Say: What's Your Most Impressive Real World Drive?

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Continuing our series where your comments are the real story, we want to hear about your interesting real world driving experiences.

For most of us, the cars we drive in racing sims are just a fantasy, and we won't get near them in real life. But with over 2,000,000 members here at RD, we know that many of you have had that fantasy become a reality, at least temporarily.

Let us know in the comments what the most impressive car you've ever driven is. This is not a contest, so whether your coolest drive was an open-wheel race car or a Lada, we want to hear about it.

Some of you have driven in real-world race series, or compete in weekend events with your hand-built track toy. Others may have a friend or know of a local rental agency that lets you feel the rush of an exotic car for a period.

Or perhaps it was a ride-along. Have a professional driver push a car to its limits, be it on or off road, drift, drag or otherwise, experiencing what a vehicle is capable of as a passenger can make for an equally riveting experience.

We want to hear it all. Let us know the type of car that's most impressed you to drive so far in your life, and the story behind how you made it happen.
About author
Mike Smith
I have been obsessed with sim racing and racing games since the 1980's. My first taste of live auto racing was in 1988, and I couldn't get enough ever since. Lead writer for RaceDepartment, and owner of SimRacing604 and its YouTube channel. Favourite sims include Assetto Corsa Competizione, Assetto Corsa, rFactor 2, Automobilista 2, DiRT Rally 2 - On Twitter as @simracing604


not having had a single accident in 29 years of commuting to work, either by bicycle, public transport or car, usually a mix of two of those three. 10 years to go, fingers crossed, awareness always switched on.

plus: as a twelve year old I sat in a Lancia Stratos Rallycar, my dad had taken us to a FIAT dealer in the next town who had it on display for some days. Does that count?
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Formula Renault at Thruxton was great fun, but I have to say for a daily driver my Hyundai I30n fastback continues to impress me every single time I take the damn thing out.
2011 Porsche 911 RSR at Estoril racetrack. Yes, the RSR.

First time 10 laps in the wet. Second time, different day, 10 laps in the dry. Mind blowing experience, specially for someone how had only driven in racetracks with <100 hp street cars. It was also the first 911 I ever drove. Had to wait 44 years to get my hands on one.

Clutch hard as hell, everything hard as hell. A proper race car. Best 20 laps of my life and surely the best Kms of my life too.

"I can now meet the Creator", I remember thinking.
So I had a pretty respectable career as an amateur go-karter at my local track during my high school years, wound up winning my tracks TAG championship one year!!!

It's funny though, in my career I probably racked 20-30 main wins and yet I don't remember any of them, I vaguely remember my first pole but that season I could never put it all together, countless poles in Rotax and no wins, fortunately the next year I broke through and won one and from there, no looking back. It's funny that what they say is totally true, after you've won once it all becomes much easier.

It's the close losses and mistakes that stay with me, three examples to be specific.

The first is somewhat questionable but I was young and it proved crucial in learning to stand up for myself in life. There was another driver, roughly my age, and he was a twit. Every race showing up in brand new gear, brand new tires, new motors you name it. His family had money and he let everyone know it. On top of all this his on track actions where always pretty questionable.

So one race I believe I qualified on pole and he lined up 3rd right behind me, the first turn was a 180 left followed by a short straight into a 90 right, well let me tell you going into that 90 right the guy behind used me as a brake and off I went into the gravel. I saw red. I put in the drive of my life and let me tell you I caught that SOB and when I did I locked my bumper into his and as we went into that 90 right I never lifted and off we went into the gravel together. In retrospect just completely wrong of me to do but let me tell you he never messed with me again. It was funny, he and his father where both always very vocal and yet not a word was ever said, infact from that point on we almost became friends off track.

Another incident I remember was when we where running the long track configuration, I locked up and lost it on my own at the start going into turn one and I remember feeling quite discouraged and almost being ready to just putz around, get the race over with and go home. But I remember thinking about all the time and money my father was putting into this hobby, my little sister spending every weekend at the track and for me to give up like this would be just plain wrong. So I put my head down, literally and figuratively, and I drove my heart out. I picked people off one by one cold blooded, and then there they where, 1st and 2nd, 2nd being the same person from the 1st story... I pushed past my limits and found even more speed, and as I did I realized that first was messing with second, big blocks into turns, driving the widest kart I've ever seen, 1st had forgotten about going forward and could only focus on what's behind and they don't know I'm coming. It became a blur as I found tenths that I previously thought impossible and I closed that gap and as we came out of the final turn to the finish line 1st had slowed so much that I had a run around the outside and the speed to make it work, but I pushed that .0000001% too far and barely dropped a tire, around I went across the line backwards in third and was devastated. In retrospect I view that as a highlight of my life, that is the deepest I've ever dug and I never gave up and sometimes when things get rough I think back to those laps and put my head down and go to work.

And lastly my final race, all my friends came out, my boss, everybody! And it was going well, won pole, won the heat and was running well in the main, I had my arch nemesis behind me, battled with this kid tooth and nail every race for about two years, always clean, always respectful, and one of my best friends off track. I'll never forget when we got in trouble for starting together at the back in practice so we could battle each other through traffic, only got to do that about twice before we got a nice little talking to by the race director (Well deserved we where being jerks). So he's up my butt every lap but I'm being smart about it, no blocks running my race trying to break free just head down going. And he can't get by. Lap after lap he's there but can't make a move. White flag comes out, he can't make a move I've won this I'm going to win this and ride off into the sunset to my failed college experiment. Second to last turn, his only chance, he's going to have to bonzai up the inside so I throw a block, make it impossible for him. And as we're coming out here he comes full head of steam on my outside down the hill to the checkered flag. 2nd. What a move on his part, honestly still don't know how he pulled it off.

But man the experience was the biggest take away, I feel like Al Bundy over here but what a wonderful time in life. The friends I made, some of who I still speak to all these years later. And how much you learn about yourself when it really is you versus the world.

And Al, if your reading this I'm not sorry for all those number plates I broke of yours in practice. Yes it was on purpose but I know your still out there karting so hopefully it taught you to get on the gas a little earlier!
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I've owned a Toyota Supra MKIV twin turbo, Celica GT 2006 and Subaru Forester STi (possibly the craziest of all three!).

Track day I've driven Aston Martin DB9 and V8 Vantage and a Ferrari 360.

One of my favourite stories was when my mum went to a Vauxhall track day at Brands Hatch and was taken around the track by professional driver. She described Paddock Hill bend as falling off the edge of the world :D
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Can't be anything other than the 2019 Nordschleife lap we did with the RD Staff at the Expo weekend. What an epic ride with the 300BHP Golf R for a first time on a race track.

Maybe not even the most impressive car, but definitely the most impressive ride.
It was not really a drive but a flight. As a teenager i was in the Air Training Core (Bit like the scouts but put together by RAF) We had uniforms and marched up ad down ect. One day it was time for my first and only flight in a Chipmonk plane. (A old propeler plane simalar to a spitfire. I went up from RAF base Hallavington and flew over Castle Coombe track near by. The cars at the racing school looked like my Corgi's as they and evreything around me was so small inside a 2 seater plane. I am just glad i did not have to open the parachute.
Having been a service writer for bit, the cars that stand out that I've driven are the Lamborghini Huracan that the owner freely let the staff take spins in. The Mercedes GT C V8 BiTurbo that was an absolute beast to drive so much power! The Cayman, the drive was nothing to write home about, but I've always thought the Porsche Cayman was such a beautiful car.

The Volvo Polestar 1 so fast so beautiful so much technology.
Another memorable car I've driven is the Hellcat Demon, talk about heart in your mouth driving experience.

You may find this quizzical, but the Kia Stinger was the one I had the most fun with, I was totally surprised that the Stinger was so much fun to drive. The car is so low to the ground and has so much grip that you feel like you're in a proper racing car. The other cars I didn't really push for fear of damage.

I recall doing so many runs in the Stinger using the launch control (Yes Kia has Launch Control) that it timed me out. So, my most impressive was the Kia Stinger, the other cars you expect to blow your mind, but I was totally taken aback by the Stinger such a sleeper car!

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Mike Smith
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