I Like Driving in Dad’s Car

Written by Haydn Williams

Occasionally, Dad takes cars which are worth very little off people (it’s part of his job, he’s not a conscientious thief), and then he scraps them. He suggested a slight twist to this format when an old Toyota Celica came in recently: take it for a track day at Oulton Park first.

Peek-a-boo! © Haydn Williams 2013
Peek-a-boo! © Haydn Williams 2013

After a quick check-up at the workshop and some new brake pads and fluid she was declared fit-for-purpose, so we loaded her onto the trailer and headed to the circuit. We met Gareth there and all pretended not to be nervous or just plain terrified.

Fortunately not needed. © Haydn Williams 2013
Fortunately not needed. © Haydn Williams 2013

It soon became clear that there were lots of people with some serious kit in attendance; within seconds of arriving I’d spotted a GT-R, an SLS and an M6. The only reason I didn’t spot any other worryingly-fast hardware is because all the single-seaters were so low-profile they were hidden behind everything else.

Not quite concourse standard, but we've all been very busy with other things. © Haydn Williams 2013
Not quite concourse standard, but we’ve all been very busy with other things. © Haydn Williams 2013

Gareth’s rather hectic introduction to the circuit was on the ‘sighting lap’, which turned out to be only a fraction slower than a full-on flying lap, while I desperately tried to remember lines in preparation for my go.

What a beauty! Dad laying down a fast lap. © Haydn Williams 2013
What a beauty! Dad laying down a fast lap. © Haydn Williams 2013
Oulton Park. © Will Pittenger http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Will_Pittenger
Oulton Park. © Will Pittenger http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Will_Pittenger

With the proper session started, the Celica did us proud. I wouldn’t say that any one of us was significantly quicker than the others, but there was only one person who didn’t spin (and he has a blog called Haydn’s Blog). Unfortunately I unexpectedly had to leave early, but did manage to fit a couple of sessions in. I’ll admit to a fairly significant wobble entering Cascades too quickly, which was corrected more by instinct than possession of the appropriate knowledge and skills.

The sticker allows you onto the track. If you break the rules, you're officially de-stickered and sent home. © Haydn Williams 2013
The sticker allows you onto the track. If you break the rules, you’re officially de-stickered and sent home. © Haydn Williams 2013

By the time Dad and Gareth had finished thrashing her around the track in the afternoon, the poor old car was apparently dropping oil and so she finished the day with her head held high. And has now probably been squashed into an eighteen-inch cube.

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