Dubai Autodrome In Dubai, you’ll need to head to Dubai Autodrome on the outskirts of the city, where you can take control of a number of vehicles and put your skills to the test. Driver experiences include the Audi R8 V10 supercar and the Audi TT 2.0 Turbo, the World Rally Championship-winning Subaru Impreza WRX STi, an F1-style single-seater race car capable of hitting 100kmph in just four seconds, plus a specially modified ‘skid car’ that lets you drift your way across the tarmac, simulating slippery, wet conditions.
In addition to these driver experiences, Dubai Autodrome also hosts regular track days, designed to let car and motorbike owners explore the full performance of their vehicles on the race circuit, yet still in a safe, controlled environment. For further information, visit www.dubaiautodrome.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (04 367 8700).
Time Out says... The Audi R8 V10 Supercar Thrill certainly gets the adrenalin pumping. The Audi R8’s performance is brutal and uncompromising – it’s engaging, exhilarating and a little unnerving as the tyres squeal, you slide around in the seat and the engine roars. With time to reflect, there’s no doubt this is an amazing insight into the highly technical and impressive nature of motor racing – you’ll never look at a Formula One race in the same way again. Audi R8 V10 Supercar Thrill Dhs1,295 per person. Dubai Autodrome, Motor City, www.dubaiautodrome.com (04 367 8745).
Yas Marina Circuit Home to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, this 5.5km-long track should need little introduction. Aside from hosting the world’s top racing professionals, Yas Marina Circuit also offers amateur racers a host of driver and passenger experiences, plus tuition and driving packages through its Yas Racing School. It also boasts a National Hot Rod Association-approved Drag Racing Centre – for those seeking the ultimate speed thrill.
Passenger experiences, for those not quite ready to get behind the wheel, include a ride in a Formula One safety car, the impressive Mercedes AMG, a drag race in a 400bhp Chevrolet Camaro SS, a hot lap of the F1 circuit in an open-top Yas Supersport SST, three flying laps in the beautiful machine that is the Aston Martin GT4 and finally a ground-shaking ride in the Yas Three-seater Dragster. Various driver experiences are available in the super sleek Mercedes AMG CLS 63 and one and only ‘Gullwing’ SLS, as well as the Chevvy Camaro SS, the Aston Martin GT4, the Le Mans-lookalike Yas Supersoft SST and the thoroughbred single-seater, F1-style race car that is the Yas 3000.
If you fancy letting your own car loose on the track, you’ll be pleased to hear that Yas Marina Circuit hosts regular track days, complete with air-conditioned pits, advice from the instructors and initial laps behind a pace car to teach you the best lines to take through the corners. Finally, for those keen on a bit of drifting head along to their fun drift nights. For further information, visit www.yasmarinacircuit.com or call (800 YAS).
Time Out says... Nestled snugly in the Yas Supersport SST, we feel petty low to the ground and visibility isn’t that clear, but we start driving anyway and it’s easier than expected, navigating the track, paying careful attention to the cones. It takes us a while to settle, and it’s only during the final five laps of the 20-minute experience that we feel comfortable enough to put our foot down full throttle on the straights, and be more daring on the bends, whizzing around at a faster pace. The most difficult part is slowing down using the gears; the instructor also tells us we have problems keeping the car in a straight line! With plenty of instruction, this is a great introduction to motorsport, even for complete novices. Yas Supersport SST, Dhs1,200 per person. Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, www.yasmarinacircuit.com (800 YAS).