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“Ariel Atom 300 thrill, Rockingham.”

Written on: 25/11/2015 by Emeryx15 (1 review written)

Booked to go to Rockingham in a party of 4 people to do the Ariel Atom 300 thrill.

As an overall summary we were all absolutely disgusted with the whole day from start to finish.

When we arrived to sign is, we were greeted by a team of rude, blunt and condescending 6th gear female employees who had no interest in customer communication or satisfaction. They were rude, extremely poor communicators and it seemed they were more concerned about getting us signed as quickly as possible with no explanations about anything.

One of our party had forgotten their driving license. Initially we were told bluntly it would cost £35 to rectify this by calling the DVLA to confirm their driving license status. When the conversation continued and we tried to understand what the woman was telling us as it was making no sense whatsoever, we actually established with a great deal of effort, that this was actually £10. The other £25 was the insurance / damage waiver cover. There are TWO major issues with this combined £35.

1. We were told in no uncertain terms the £25 insurance / damage waiver was compulsory. If we didn’t pay it we could not drive the car on the track - end of story. This is false and against regulations. Such waivers are not designed to be mandatory and the buyagift website confirms this. One of our party refused to pay the £25 so didn’t even do the track day, having already paid the £75 for the experience. We were all absolutely disgusted that in reality, the £75 was £100 with the “compulsory” £25 waiver cover. He had enough, didn’t pay the £25, didn’t do the track day and went and sat in the car. That turned out to be a very good decision based on what the £100 (£75 + £25) actually ended up consisting of.

2. When one of our party handed over the £10 for one of the 6th gear female worker to call the DVLA, no phone call was made. When he questioned her to ask if she was going to ring, she just replied, “no don’t worry, carry on, we don’t want to delay you, we will call the DVLA in a while”. So I have no doubt whatsoever that call was never made, so what happened to the £10? It clearly wasn’t needed.

Having been told to arrive 45 minutes before our planned start time of 10.10 we arrived at 09.30. We were then delayed 1 hour getting to the tack so were hanging around in the cold for approx. 1hr 30minutes.

The package we purchased advertised “two flying laps in a track prepared sorts car (instructor driving)”. This didn’t happen and we were told was not part of our package. All we had was 1 demo lap in a 3 series BMW and then into the atom. The website advertisement states otherwise.

The package we purchased advertised the experience as 12 laps. When we arrived we were told it was actually 3 laps (and now looking at your website it states 6 miles which his different to what was advertised when I purchased this experience). I had previously been on a very similar experience at Mallory Park in 2014 and it was based on that experience where I was able to drive the Atom for around 20 minutes that I re booked on this offer. To say the two days were MILES apart in terms of quality and satisfaction is an understatement.

The 3 laps actually turned out to be 2.5 because on the third lap you were told to slow down to enter the pits. We actually got to go down the main straight two times only, not even 3 for the 3 laps.

The instructor insisted on constantly speaking to us along the lines of…..“hold back, don’t go too fast, that’s enough, no more power etc etc etc”. I’m all for safety and having done a lot of motorsport in my time, understand the aspects of safety and the limitations of any car in different conditions. However, all three of our party felt like we could have had more fun driving around the track in a 1.4 litre fiesta. We got no satisfaction out of driving the atom whatsoever and that is not down to conditions etc. it was just the instructor holding us back to a point where driving the atom was pointless.

No coveralls or gloves were provided.

Overall Summary:
Overall the day was a complete waste of time. One of our party didn’t even bother doing the track day based on the extra £25 he was told he needed to pay for damage waiver. The other three of us paid the £25 each ( and one guy paid the extra £10 for the DVLA check – which never actually took place) so the combined total of £310 for 3 people for 2.5 laps each in an atom was a complete waste. The day I had in 2014 with a similar company was 10/10 - fantastic. I had an intro / demo lap to familiarise with the track. I then had 3 “hot / flying” laps in a track prepared sports car which was breath-taking. I then had approx. 20mins in the atom with an instructor that after 1 lap told me to just carry on and have fun and that he would just speak to me or intervene with his pedals if there were any issues with my driving or other cars, of which there was neither and the remaining time was unbelievable fun. It was based on that day that I re-booked to do this with three other members of my family having told them how amazing it was. The day with 6th gear (bought through buyagift) was nowhere even close and I am actually embarrassed that I convinced them to do it and effectively waste their money.

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