Boy racers are getting slower

WHY bother? That was my reaction when I received a press release from a company excited by its offer to give young people aged under 17 the chance to experience supercar driving. In fact, any child can drive regardless of age as long as they are over 4ft

WHY bother? That was my reaction when I received a press release from a company excited by its offer to give young people aged under 17 the chance to experience supercar driving.

In fact, any child can drive regardless of age as long as they are over 4ft 10in tall and can reach the pedals, I read.

A thrill-a-minute driving experience - for between 10 and 15 minutes - is promised from just �89 (yes, that's right, nearly a ton in sterling).

And what would the fortunate young people get for the cash no doubt forked out by proud parent or grandparent as a treat?


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There an eye-catching array of stuff-of-dreams cars they can choose to drive. There's an Aston Martin DB9 - a favourite of James Bond - which can do 0 - 60mph in 4.6 seconds and has a top speed of 190mph.

How about the Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder which is even quicker at 191mph max, or the Ferrari F360 Spider which can chug along at a more sedate 180mph plus?

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I bet young people can hardly wait to get behind the wheel, put their foot down and race off into the distance.

They would be safe enough - every drive is supervised by a fully trained and experienced instructor who is skilled at driving and controlling high performance cars.

It is the instructor sitting beside the young person who ensures that the vehicle speed is controlled to match the driver's capability.

And that, I suspect, is when the whole thing can become farcical. The company admits that "most young drivers reach an average speed of 35mph..." They must be joking. In a car which can do nearly 200mph, 35 is not even getting out of first gear.

But the company adds optimistically: "...although with practice and confidence they can go faster". I wonder how many sessions at �89 or more a time it will take to reach that exalted state.

I've just remembered, another press release which whizzed into my inbox this week informed me that the average adult forgets three key facts, chores or events every day.

Around 15 million of us will absent-mindedly leave a cup of tea to go cold while a similar number will forget where they put the keys to their house or car.

A slightly smaller number will go to the shops only to completely forget what they went there for. And it is the same picture when it comes to forgetting about wet clothes in the washing machine (although I reckon it is simply laziness on the part of some people who can't be bothered to lug it over to the tumble drier).

Also high on the list of forgettable things are PIN numbers, passwords, taking food out of the freezer the night before and charging the mobile phone.

The cause of a rise in our levels of forgetfulness is put down to modern hectic lifestyles and increased workloads and pressures as well as modern technology.

The solution? Live like a caveman when there will be no house or car key to forget. But the mug of tea left on a handy rock could still be a problem.

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