Experience a thrill vicariously with The Luxe Diary’s review of the Aston Martin GT4 driving experience at Yas Marina Circuit.
As long-time fans of the GT4 racing series, when we went down to Yas Marina Circuit, we were super excited to spend the afternoon piloting the amazing Aston Martin GT4. Having followed the Gulf 12 Hour series, at The Luxe Diary Sports, we have a particular affinity with this superb track, so we were rearing to go!
The Aston Martins GT4s available at the Yas Marina Circuit are race winning machines developed by Aston Martin to compete around the world in GT4 and 24 Hr series. A mixture of a stripped out interior, carbon fibre sills and panels, thin polycarbonate windows and lightweight aluminium chassis married to a 4.7 litre 400bhp V8, provides not only access to brutal performance, but as it turns out, an incredible sound track.
After getting the briefing on what to and what not to do on a race track, my fellow GT4 Experience driver and I head over to the pair of Aston Martin GT4s ready for our experience. Climbing into the cabin through the narrow opening between the full current FIA spec roll-cage, slightly nervously I cannot help but feel that maybe I won’t fit. It is only after I sit down in the thinly trimmed race seat that my fears switch from not fitting, to not being able to get out! All joking aside, at this point, the instructor shows me how to take off the quick release steering wheel, briefs me as to the fire extinguisher system and ends it by saying “If I run, you run” to make sure there is no doubt what to do.
My first press of the starter button is not long enough, the second, a few seconds longer causes the mechanical whirring of the starter to erupt into an all-body assaulting roar as the V8 comes to life. Once the engine settles back to a deep burble, I am given the signal to engage first and to nose the Aston out onto the track. The first lap is aimed to get you familiarised with not only the track layout and braking points, but also the GT4 and its hard shifting, biting brakes and endless grip.
As the Aston is nearing the end of the straight, still pulling hard in 6th, the instructors hand comes into my field of view telling me brake hard and get the car into third gear, ready for the tight pair of left hand corners. A jab of the loud pedal gets me the right hander leading to a short straight where punching through the gears under full acceleration, we appear at the next left and have to brake and feather the throttle around the tightening apex. At this point on the circuit having complete faith in the instructor is essential to get the Aston through the next series of turns as a combination of a low seating position and cresting downhill section of the track result in only the tips of the marker cones visible at each corner.
The whole experience is both aurally and physically exhilarating and I am told by the instructors that some people opt to just drive the car around the track, making the most of a straight-piped V8 sounds and never go over 60kph. I can see the attraction, but the sound is only a quarter of the experience.
It was not only surreal to be driving a full race Aston Martin GT4, but to be doing it on the Yas Marina Circuit and at full chat (my ego says full) was an amazing experience and one that will be follow-up with their other machines. It is a proper workout piloting these machines and the experience gives you an idea of the mental and physical stamina required by race drivers.
Mercedes GTS next time, we think…
For all details and bookings and events please go to Yas Marina Circuit Experiences.
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