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Last Updated: Friday, 15 February 2008, 10:13 GMT
Testing out the track at Brands Hatch
David Garrido
Sports reporter, Radio 1 Newsbeat

It's not often you get to try out several different, slightly crazy sports on a legendary circuit in the space of a few hours.

David on Superbike
British Superbike rider Leon Haslam took David on a lap

Although Brands Hatch doesn't currently host a Formula One race, they can boast single-seater action in the form of A1GP (known as the World Cup of Motorsport), as well as Touring Cars, Superbikes, historic cars and even racing trucks.

The Grand Prix track is almost two-and-a-half miles long in a rough horse-shoe shape, with some of the cars reaching speeds of almost 200 miles per hour on the start-finish straight.

It’s witnessed some big moments in motorsport history: the first-ever British Touring Car race, Ayrton Senna’s first car win, Nigel Mansell’s debut F1 victory and James Toseland’s only double win in World Superbikes.

Newsbeat was given special access for passenger and pillion rides on some of these machines. So let’s take you through some of the mad stuff we tried out.


Sitting on the back of a race-tuned road bike might sound like fun to some – for others, it’s terrifying. Put me in that second category.

British Superbike rider Leon Haslam took me as his passenger on the first ride of the day, and after one warm-up lap, the flying lap was exhilarating.

You get so close to the ground as you’re leaning into the corners, and obviously you’re completely open to the elements – the force of the wind almost made my helmet come off as we were steaming down the straight.

World Touring Cars

Cars on Brands Hatch track
Touring cars typically reach 160mph
An honour to drive with living legend Andy Priaulx – the guy has bossed this sport over the last four years and he threw the car around a fair bit as well. We had a simulated start on the grid, racing against a Chevrolet – absolutely no contest.

Once we’d got past them on the second corner, we were away. It is very jolty, but you can feel the acceleration up through the gears and you’re talking around 160 miles an hour. Priaulx described it as “your worst-ever rollercoaster ride” - he’s not wrong.

DTM (German touring cars)

Audi touring car
DTM cars pump out 500 bhp
Two words for you – raw power. This beast was not only quick, it was seriously loud and the G-forces were amazing! One moment your face is being stretched, the next it’s being squashed.

If you are into your physics, you can get up to 5g, especially when braking. In other words, a force of five times your body weight.

At one point I thought we were going to crash into the pit wall, but driver Christian Abt was always in complete control and brought her back in. 500 brake horsepower - never again.

Rea misses out on Superbike crown
Sunday, 14 October 2007, 16:25 GMT |  Motorbikes
Priaulx wins third Touring title
Sunday, 18 November 2007, 09:28 GMT |  Motorsport

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