Buy a Gift: Caterham Fastest Blogger Challenge

Buy a Gift –

Buy a Gift are a website offering “Driving experiences” with a variety of themes.
Buyagift was founded in 1999 by Dan Mountain. We started in a bedroom at Dan´s family home in Muswell Hill and after eleven successful years Buyagift HQ is now a lively, open plan office in New Barnet with over 70 employees. We have also recently expanded into Europe with our French operation,, in Paris and in Spain.
Thanks to the hard work and commitment of our team we continue to grow every year; currently at a rate of more than 20 per cent. Buyagift Plc made sales of over £20 million last year in the UK and is also proud to be part of an international group of gift experience companies Smart & Co. Smart & Co operates in over 20 countries worldwide and annually makes sales of over €350 million a year.
Buyagift also has its own corporate sales division; Buyagift Corporate who specialise in incentive schemes, loyalty rewards, team building activities, long service awards, corporate gifts and prizes.
Our corporate team work with large and small companies to serve a range of needs, as well as offering competitive discounts and an unbeatable service to help you serve your clients more effectively.
For this event the theme was obviously Motorsport with 17 bloggers from a variety of backgrounds taking part. Not simply Motorsport bloggers, but health, lifestyle and general news blogs. The aim of the day was to see who was the blogger with the best skills in drifting. Clearly previous experience of any form of motorsport was not necessarily an advatange.

The car –

The cars we used are Caterham 7’s, these are based on the classic Lotus 7. They are the latest incarnation of the breed, with 1.6l 150hp Ford Engines. The chassis is a steel spaceframe with independant double wishbone front suspension and a De Dion rear axle. To suit the Drift challenge the cars are set up with softer compound front yres and harder rears, no front antirollbar and a stiff setting on the rear ARB.


The Track –
Set out in a car park at the Silverstones circuit, there were three track layouts used as we grew in expereience. Firstly a single short cuve followed by solitary for completing a rolling donut around. This then progressed into a figure of eight track, with longer turns to drift around. After lunch the “Uber” drift course was set up with a long slalom followed by a donut cone, then another more open slalom with a final donut cone.


Unlike track driving or road driving, drifting is a more aggressive form of driving. More abrupt inputs are used to get the rear tyres unloaded and spinning. The process is to brake hard into a turn, put on lock as the brakes come off then stabs at the throttle. The usual smooth transistion from on-off throttle and braking to turn in aren’t rewarded. It takes several runs to understand the style that is required. As the car switches from drift to grip the steering needs to return to on-centre rapidly, faster than you can turn the wheel so releasing the wheel is required to let it lightly spin through your hands before regaining a grip and steering into the next turn.

The experience

We started on the simple course with trying to get the cars tail kicked out, each driver gets two runs to perfect the technque. In the morning we had three runs on thge simple course and two runs on the figure of eight course. After each run the instructors point out issues with your technique, the constructive advice soon finds you making step improvements on each run.
Common pitfalls are using the cones as apex markers and you ending up running wide for the rest of the turn or worse oversteering into the subsequent cones. A wide entrance is required, with you needign to be 3-4 metres away and alongside the cone before turn-in, then as you come off the brakes, add steering lock and once you’re turned-in stab the power. This kicks the rear wheels out and then you keep reapplying stabs of power to keep the slide going. Being smooth like in circuit racing will just see you running quickly through the turn and not getting into a full tyre spinning slide. Every run you become more aggressive with the throttle. By the time we’ve had a few runs on the afternoons “Uber” drift track, you find the aggression is still there, but you’re merging the slides into a constant drift even with a direction changes.

After a full day with lots of runs, we had the finale. This was a single practice run, followed by more feedback, then a final run for which you’re judged by all the professional drivers and given a score. All 17 of us were given a score based on our drifting skills, which lead to the prizegiving. I came fifth with a score just 6 percent off the leader. I was pleased with that result and overall I was extremely pleased with the Caterham Drifting Driving Experience. Its not a conventional driving day, its part race driving skills and part Top Gear style hooning around with smoking rear tyres. I’d thoroughly recommend it to any petrol head

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