Ascari 2021 – A member’s experience

Events | 26 Oct 2021

By motoring journalist and Auto Vivendi member, David Yu.

I joined Auto Vivendi in May 2021, having been a member of a couple of supercar clubs, none of which even come close to having the incredible collection that Auto Vivendi has.

I’ve also owned a few supercars over the years, but being able to book a wide variety of the latest and greatest ones then planning weekends and outings around them is an unmatchable privilege.

However, of course, it is impossible to drive any modern supercar to the limit on the road, so I was delighted to reserve my space for this bucket list experience, to drive 10 cars from the Auto Vivendi collection at Ascari, possibly one of the best tracks in the world.

The icing on the cake was the option to fly there and back by private jet, a luxury I had yet to experience, but seemed the only appropriate way to get to the “Ultimate Supercar Track Day”.

The total absence of queues and hassle at the private lounge in Biggin Hill was revelatory and after a convivial and highly enjoyable flight we arrived at the private terminal at Malaga airport and were whisked off in executive MPVs.

The very comfortable hotel in Ronda was in a breath-taking clifftop setting and we enjoyed some champagne on the warm, sunny terrace before moving indoors for an absolutely delicious (and substantial) dinner.

The following morning, after an excellent breakfast, we were collected by luxury coach and driven the short distance to the magnificent Ascari Race Resort. I had actually been fortunate enough to have visited the Resort back in 2005 and wrote an article about it for a British Airways magazine.

However, I had always longed to return to enjoy a full experience there and nothing could be more of a “full experience” than the Auto Vivendi Ultimate Supercar Track Day!

I have been driving on tracks and racing since the late 1980s, so I am always slightly wary of group organised track experiences, as often instructors are more concerned about preserving their employers’ cars rather than allowing drivers to drive them to the limit of their own ability.

However, there are a rare few where the instructors do properly coach you and encourage you to explore the capabilities of the cars and I’m delighted to report that the team that Auto Vivendi hired at Ascari were absolutely world class, perhaps the best group of instructors I’ve met outside of a race environment.

I was lucky to have one of their senior instructors, Richard, an affable Swede who is a hugely experienced racer and an Ascari expert and he proved to be an excellent coach for the day.

The 10 cars AV brought for our delectation were:

Ferrari 812 Superfast

Ferrari F8 Tributo

Ferrari Roma

Ferrari 488 Pista

Lamborghini Huracan Evo

Lamborghini Huracan Performante Spider

Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Spider

McLaren 600LT

McLaren 720S

McLaren 620R

The format for the day was to split the 16 of us into two groups and we took out 5 cars for four laps each in the morning, then the other 5 in the afternoon.

Four laps might not sound a lot, but each lap on the full layout at Ascari is some 5.4km with a fiendish combination of dips, esses, banked curves and blind corners. It takes some learning, but is an always engrossing challenge.

It was an unadulterated joy to take out each of those incredible supercars and extend them well beyond what is possible on the road.

To be honest, driving even any single one of them at Ascari with an expert instructor would be a once in a lifetime experience. To drive all ten was simply overwhelmingly amazing.

Highlights for me were the responsiveness of the Pista and the visceral V10 noise of the Huracan Evo, but all ten cars were fantastic in their own way, each being given the chance to reveal their rich and varying characters.

After an exhilarating day’s driving, it was time to decompress with some much-needed drinks by the poolside of the luxury resort clubhouse before heading back to the hotel to shower.

We then had a lovely stroll to a stunning rooftop terrace in Ronda’s town centre, where we celebrated with champagne and were then treated to a fabulous gastronomic meal in a top class restaurant.

The following morning saw a relaxed return flight to Biggin Hill where we parted ways and returned to reality.

Looking back now, the whole trip was a surreally perfect experience.

As we can now all foresee the rapidly impending end of ICE powered supercars, I relished every second and have indelible memories I will treasure forever.

The Auto Vivendi team of Richard, Craig, Joss, James, Kas and David were simply incredible hosts. It is patently clear that they do what they do because it is their passion, not just a business.

I know the phrase “living the dream” is a time-worn cliché, but through Auto Vivendi, it really is possible.

Now, what’s next on the list guys?