They say money can buy you
everything, except things like happiness and extreme joy. Well that’s just a
silly myth and a figment of someone else’s imagination. Money can buy
everything--Fast cars, fast bikes, pretty girls, barrel loads of the bubbly and
also, in today’s horribly crowded scenario, a lot of space to race your car.
As journalists we are the
fortunate ones, since we do have the liberty and a great amount of luck to step
into a rich man’s world and experience a bit of their life. However momentary
it may be, it does bring a smile to your face and a great amount of thrill and
happiness. Yes, Happiness, with a capital ‘H’!
Thus, when Audi called us to
experience their fast cars on the Buddh International Circuit, in Greater
Noida, happiness knew no bounds. Audi has this programme for its wealthy
customers to experience the power of their machines on a race track. It’s a
much better experience than honking your stranded car in the middle of a
crowded road with some bovines starring at you with no care in the world.
Launched in 2012, the Audi Sportscar
Experience (ASE a first of its kind initiative for customers to experience Audi
Sportscars on a racetrack), customers get an opportunity to enrol in the global
race car experience. To date, over 2000 customers have participated in this
programme. Before we started our
experience in the afternoon, a few high profile personalities had already had a
go in the car. Early morning suited them because the weather was a lot more
pleasant and it suited those born and brought up in the lap of luxury.
These personalities included
racer Aditya Patel, golfer Sharmila Nicolett and renowned designer, Nishka
Lulla, among others. By afternoon, it was our turn to drive and nobody really
cared how the harsh the sun had become
by then. Our eyes and minds were solely on the Audi sports cars and nobody, not
even a blazing hot sun could spoil our day!
We took our turns driving the high-powered
Audi S5 Sportback, the iconic Audi TT Coupé, India’s first sports car with an
Avant body style the Audi RS 6 Avant, and the high performance Audi RS 7
Sportback. Remember, this Audi programme has been specially designed to equip
enthusiasts with proper driving techniques for the road and the racetrack.
As part of this programme, Audi
sports car customers get invited to be trained by Audi trainers on various
driving techniques including cornering, braking and safety measures to be
considered while driving a sports car. The customers get introduced to the
features of the car and also get a live experience to test all the features of
the sports cars in a controlled environment on the track.
“Audi Sportscar Experience
program has become extremely successful over the past few years with an
increasing number of automobile enthusiasts out there who like to sample the
adrenaline rush and excitement of driving an Audi sports car on a race track,
but have not had the chance to do so. ASE offers an exclusive and unforgettable
driving experience of the majestic sportiness and strength of an Audi and the
physical limits of vehicle handling, “said Joe King, Head, Audi India.
In fact, the Audi Sportscar
Experience is a two phase programme: Audi Sportscar Experience and Audi
Sportscar Experience Advanced. The ‘Audi Sportscar Experience’ focuses on
sharpening a driver’s skills such as handling, steering, braking and sector
training on a race-track, under the guidance of an instructor. The sector
training is designed to acquaint a driver with all of the racetrack’s
particular features and work out the racing line one bit at a time, before they
proceed to tackle the entire circuit.
On the other hand, the ‘Audi
Sportscar Experience Advanced’ focuses more on understanding the racing line,
over and under steering and regularity tests to master the entire race circuit.
This exclusive programme promises the ultimate in dynamic performance and fun
at the wheel. Internationally, this programme is conducted on race tracks at
Barcelona, the Nürburgring, the EuroSpeedway Lausitz, the Salzburgring, Dubai
and in Spa, Belgium.
We took turn driving some of
Audi’s fastest cars at the BIC. Each of the models gave a different experience.
While some had power beyond imagination when it came to experience, some had
some great cornering abilities. But each proved to be a driver’s delight.
Whether it was the Audi TT or the Audi RS 7 Sportback, the thrill that one
derived by driving these cars was immense. We took several rounds of the track
in a disciplined manner and also got a chance to knock some cones at the ground
outside, experiencing in this process the intrinsic values of a sound Audi