Renault and the Silverstone racing circuit have come together to provide a new driving experience for teenagers aged 13-16.
The scheme is called Rookie Drive, and seems similar in principle to the Seat Young Driver scheme recently launched at the Birmingham NEC.
However, where Seat Young Driver sees the instruction take place in 1.2-litre five-door superminis with 69bhp, Rookie Drive lets its attendees loose in 200 Cup hot hatch.
These 2.0-litre Renaultsport-tuned machines offer 197bhp and one of the finest affordable driving experiences around. They’re a heck of a ‘first’ car.
Road skills focus
This is by no means as irresponsible as it sounds. Rookie Drive is still described as a ‘road skills initiative’, and takes place in a completely controlled environment.
The driving instructors are Silverstone’s own, and pupils will be taught essentials such as clutch control, how to change gear, pulling away, and navigating obstacles. The cars are all equipped with dual controls for driver and passenger safety.
Rookie Drive prices
Rookie Drive is also comparatively good value, costing £45 for two hours. At the end, successful ‘graduates’ will be given a certificate to go with their ‘new found skills and basic understanding of how to become a proficient driver’.
By comparison, Seat Young Driver costs £29 per half hour, or £55 for an hour – but appears to have a wider ranging, more detailed programme.
Richard Phillips, Managing Director of Silverstone Circuits, said: ‘Silverstone is delighted to extend its range of driving experiences to now offer professional driver training for teenagers. They will learn skills that will give them a head start, as well as being a fun experience. They’ll certainly have fun in the new Clio Renaultsport 200 Cup.’
Rookie Drive or Rage Buggy
Rookie Drive is available as part of Silverstone’s Rookie Super Choice voucher.
For £45, this gives teenagers aged between 13 and 16 the choice between Rookie Drive, a Rage Buggy experience (off-road racing buggies on a specially prepared course), Hot Rides (high speed passenger rides around the Silverstone circuit) and Tour Silverstone (a two-hour guided trip for one adult and one child under 16).
Follow Which? Car on Twitter
The Which? Car team is on Twitter, to offer you help and advice as and when you need it.
We’re monitoring our Twitter account every day, so if you have an account, please send us you thoughts and questions to @whichcar.
Don’t worry if you haven’t got a Twitter account – you can still stay in the loop by regularly checking www.twitter.com/whichcar.