Monday, June 6, 2016 12:00 pm ·  0 Comments
I remember the first time, I got behind the wheel of my parents brand new 1981, 16 valve fuel injected Formula Firebird V8. I was 16 years old, and as my brother used to say, I drove it like a jet fighter. So upon reflection, before I should have been allowed to drive that American muscle car, I should have taken a high performance-driving course. Not only for my safety, but for the safety of all the people around me.
Last week I finally had the opportunity to learn how to drive from Hanson International Advanced Driving School, a high performance driving school at Mosport. The day started off with 65 other drivers, who like me where separated into 3 groups: Novice, Intermediate and Advanced. Before you start, everything in your car that is loose such as water bottles, change and car mats needed to be removed, and then your car engine was quickly inspected. Once the preliminary check was done, we headed in to hear from Peter Hanson, a top high performance driver and head of Hanson International.
Peter, a mild manner well spoken man went over the basics of the day: the meaning of the flags, and rules of the track. The track we used is a training track, which means it has every possible element that could be experienced on a racetrack.
Novices first went up stairs for a 20-minute class about the basics of high performance driving. Classes were interspersed throughout the day, as was time on the practice course, and the training track. Instructor to student ratio is usually two to one, and they were amazing in both temperament as well as knowledge.
Now, I went into this thinking how hard can this be, I’ve been driving a car for 36 years. Well, it is far harder then I imagined. Instructors asked me to do things I would not normally do, such as try to make the rear of my car kick out; also they taught me how to hold my hands on the wheel, and how to take a corner at a high rate of speed. Often my instructor had to tell me to breath, because I was focusing so hard.
It was exhilarating when I started to actually take corners correctly. The car just handled so well, no squealing of tires and I could actually feel all four of the car’s tires solidly gripping the pavement. What most novice drivers gain is a better understanding of how to properly drive their car making them safer drivers.
So if you are planning to drive a high performance car whether it is a Ford Focus ST or a Lamborghini Aventor, you’ll want to sign up so you can experience what your car can do, and how to achieve that safely. I highly recommend Hanson International Advanced Driving School.