This weekend was quiet exceptional for me as I went on a professional track for the first time in my life!!! and I was accompanied by two great companions along the way: an Audi R8 V10 Plus just released and a stunning Roger Dubuis Excalibur Automatic Skeleton in Titanium!!
It all started very randomly and un-planned for at all. Wednesday night, I received a call from my friend Khalid telling me there is an exclusive event the next day and he would like to invite me to participate; of course, without hesitation I said I would love to go!! First thing on my mind was:” what am i going to wear that fits this kind of outing and activities!?”. The answer was of course: a Roger Dubuis Excalibur skeleton automatic!!! The reason is I wanted a watch that is very light, resistant to the speed and extreme movement I will be putting it through during the racing on the track and also a large case, readable and easy to keep wounded.All these elements are well refined and present in the model I chose to wear, specially with the skeletonisation that makes the watch even more special as it combined the sporty aspect and feel with the elegance of the open dial!!
We were hosted at the St Regis Saadyat Island where we spent a very nice evening, dining and getting to know the team and invitees participating in that launch!! All I had in mind was how will I be driving on that track tomorrow morning with all those narrow curves and high speed!!
8:30 am, we head to the Yas Marina Circuit were we registered our names and got our briefing about the day activities; we were split into 3 groups as each one would be testing a specific aspect and functions of the car in different locations!!
I was assigned to team Red – which means my R8 was also red 🙂 and the first thing we did was drive on that track for several laps to get a feel of the car, the curves, the car handling and tracking and the different modes we could adjust the car to while we started increasing our speed. That was quiet the thrill!!! As I mentioned I never drove on a track and thus never really tested how fast I could go with a supercar; but few laps down the road and I felt I was in my own element and cruising with the team.
After that we went to another track where we had to test on a wet ground the different mode of “Snow” versus “Dry”. The cones on the track were directing us whether we go right or left and how to go zigzag in between them while accelerating and reaching the wet ground where we have to do a U-turn and come back!! I have enjoyed this training a lot, as I felt more confident and could accelerate more which of course lead me to drift several times on the U-turns!!!! Amazing!!
As you noticed, I was checking on my Excalibur in every step of the way, making sure it is performing well under all that pressure and turns and speed. So far, so good!! the watch is running perfectly, the rotor is turning all the time winding it but most importantly creating that mesmerizing sound on the dial and distracting me all the way 🙂 It’s all worth it!!!
Finally, we got back to the main track where this time we had to go on full speed for a few laps on Dynamic mode getting more into the racing spirit of the R8!!! At that time of the day, I started feeling slightly dizzy from all that turning and shifting and zigzagging; but still determined to speed up and play more with that beast!!
The final laps were killer laps!! speeding up over 200km/h on a straight line then breaking and turning into the Yas Marina narrow curves following our lead car who I must say was pushing us hard to stay all close together and right behind him!!! Worked a few times, but we almost witnessed a crash in one lap where two cars were so close and speeding up they almost hit each other when they had to break at the turn!!! We immediately went on cruising mode for the lap and entered the pit stop to change drivers. That was close!!
However, overall, it was an amazing experience; lot of thrill, superb car performance, and handling on the track!!! Chapeau bas for Audi for this amazing new R8 fully revamped and top performance. My Excalibur also survived the test and is definitely the right choice for that kind of extreme activities. As I said on my Instagram page ” Step out Schumacher, I m taking over” 🙂