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Toyota 86 at Yas Marina Circuit

After bemoaning the lack of decent driving roads in this country, Becky booked me a surprise track experience at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.  You can take your own car out onto the race track so it was a great chance to put the Toyota 86 through it's paces.  After the briefest of briefings, I was out on the track and following the pace car for the first few laps at a reasonable speed.  After the pace car went in we were left to drive as we wanted.  One driver was a bit too keen and on the first corner I immediately came across his car stationary and facing the wrong way in the middle of the road...

Toyota 86 at Yas Marina Circuit

You drive in twenty minute sessions, giving the car time to cool down (brakes especially) in between.  Things got interesting in the third session on the track when I went out with the 'pro' group: basically people with much more powerful cars than mine.  The briefing rules about not over-taking on corners went completely out the window.

Toyota 86 at Yas Marina Circuit

The Toyota did a decent job of keeping up with the competition and it was great to feel how the car handles on a proper racing track.  The whole experience was completely exhausting though: you're being thrown around all over the place in your car and the concentration required is pretty extreme.  Incredible how F1 racing drivers keep going for a full race.  You're also very aware (or at least I was!) that you're driving your own car: one wrong move and you could be taking a taxi back to Dubai...

Toyota 86 drifting at Yas Marina Circuit

I followed up the track day with a drifing experience, again in a Toyota 86 but theirs not mine this time.  Drifting is all about creating oversteer and controlling the car through corners without the rear wheels gripping the road.  Sounds and looks easy but it really isn't, as the videos below demonstrate!  I wasn't able to convince Becky to ride shotgun either...

Toyota 86 drifting at Yas Marina Circuit

I eventually got the hang of driving in a straight line, being pushed off course by a device in the road and then controlling the car in the wet, but drifting around in a circle beat me almost every time...

Location: Yas West - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Yas Marina Circuit 5811008280868996606

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