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Thread: Millbrook Proving Ground

  1. #1
    spoons
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    Cool Millbrook Proving Ground

    Millbrook is one of Europe’s leading locations for the development and demonstration of every type of land vehicle, from motorcycles and passenger cars to heavy commercial, military and off-road vehicles.

    Today it was host for the launch of the new Vauxhall Insignia and we had access to around 50 Insignia's varying from 1.8 petrols, 1.9 CDTi, 2.0 Turbo petrols, 2.8 Turbo 4x4's

    Following a Vauxhall slick presentation involving, smoke, loud music, lightshows, video & rotating Insignia vehicle on stage, we were led off in small groups for a more detailed briefing on the car and safety at Millbrook.

    Basically all the cars outside were colour coded, and there was only one colour to remember - slate grey... cos that was the 2.8T 4x4 Elite. The only downside was that it was an automatic, no manual 2.8T were available as this will be for the VXR next year.

    Millbrooks hill test track is like a mini version of the Nurburgring, great fun but very short. It boasts adverse cambers, steep gradients, tight corners, crests and falls... great fun. But restricted to 55 mph for safety reasons.

    Armed with a perfectly functioning Insignia 2.8T 4x4, I unleased it on the Hill Circuit with enthusiasm (slowing down to 55 mph as I passed the flourescent green marshalls that were dotted around)... actually taking air at one point over a crest - lol (my passenger left his seat and as he landed knocked the window switch, and the window came down)... which is a design fault with the car I reckon - lol

    Then onto the speed bowl, a 2 mile de-restricted perfect circle with 5 lanes presented like a motorway. In lane 4, you can take your hands off the steering wheel at 75 mph, and the car will drive itself, using the gradient to keep the steering wheel on line... This does work as I slowed to 75 mph, you can feel the road 'grip' the steering wheel... most odd driving in lane with no hands on the wheel and no feet on the pedals with cruise enabled (is this the future?)

    The maximum speed we were allowed was 100 mph.... and two laps... so on the third lap everyone else had exited and I had a clear run... 125 mph and the 2.8T was still happy, but I needed to move to lane 5 and we had been told not to use lane 5 due to the new Lotus being tested at 200 mph... so I slowed back down.. shame

    lol - The irony of the speed bowl was I had been overtaken by a Blue Vectra C pre-facelift saloon in Lane 5 doing around 140 mph !! (with test plates on).... maybe someone on here got lost on their way to the car park - lol

    This place is like a playground for cars, and I so wish it was open to the general public, it would be so much fun.... in your own car
    Last edited by spoons; 25th October 2008 at 19:17.

  2. #2
    Regular Member glenboy's Avatar
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    Great write up Steve,thanks......

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    Regular Member VectraV6CDTi's Avatar
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    Looks like you had a lot of fun Steve....but......what did you think of the Insignia!!

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    Regular Member deano1's Avatar
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    sounds like you had a excellent day out.

  5. #5
    spoons
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    Quote Originally Posted by VectraV6CDTi View Post
    Looks like you had a lot of fun Steve....but......what did you think of the Insignia!!
    Its alright....

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    Regular Member VXR_DV's Avatar
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    I too got air over that crest on the "handing" track driving another car there a few years back.

    My passenger looked a bit pale when he got out

  7. #7
    spoons
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    Quote Originally Posted by VXR_DV View Post
    I too got air over that crest on the "handing" track driving another car there a few years back.

    My passenger looked a bit pale when he got out
    lol - its brilliant isnt it

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    Regular Member morbid movie's Avatar
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    good write up and a good day had,by the sound of it
    nice one

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    There was some serious thought given to allowing limited motorsport activity early on in Millbrook's life: at VX's old Chaul End Lane test track there used to be the "Velox Sprint" held a couple of times a year IIRC, but was nixed for safety and security purposes. In this day of elfin safety I don't see how they could ever allow any free access.

    The hill route is fun, isn't it? Especially in V8 Ventoras and droop snoot Firenza's (showing my age..)

    Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by peterholton View Post
    The hill route is fun, isn't it? Especially in V8 Ventoras and droop snoot Firenza's (showing my age..)
    I think I just did a little sex wee.

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