Phil Brock Q&A

Australian Muscle Car - - Tarmac Muscle -

AMC: What’s your role in the event?

PB: I’m not here as a com­peti­tor, even though I drive the event with ev­ery­one else. My role is men­tor for the Tour­ing driv­ers.

We’re so for­tu­nate to have some­thing like this event. Roads like this, which are just fan­tas­tic, which are closed so that we can ex­plore our driv­ing tal­ents and the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of our cars, in a con­trolled sit­u­a­tion.

Of course, the fi­nal con­trol is up to the in­di­vid­ual driver, but you have that abil­ity within the event to have a go.

AMC: What is your ad­vice to driv­ers new to an event of this type?

PB: The im­por­tant thing about an event like this, and driv­ing gen­er­ally, is at­ti­tude. The at­ti­tude com­ing into an event like this with your road car should be: I want to learn how to drive bet­ter, how to con­trol this car bet­ter, and have fun do­ing it. It’s about what you can do in the car and what the car will ac­cept.

Where do you ever find your lim­i­ta­tions driv­ing a car in nor­mal cir­cum­stances? You can’t. We can do that here. Over the course of this week­end we’ve got about 1500 corners, of all dif­fer­ent va­ri­ety, and we’ve had wet and dry – you won’t get a bet­ter place to train and learn, and I in­clude track days in that.

The beauty of this is that you don’t know the corners. Over the en­tire week­end you will not have learned ev­ery cor­ner. So there­fore it’s ex­ploratory, and you have to look at what you’re do­ing and drive ac­cord­ingly. You have to leave a bit of lee­way on the out­side of a cor­ner, for ex­am­ple – and learn­ing how to do that prop­erly.

AMC: So for some­one who buys a mus­cle car, such as the VE SS you’re driv­ing here, and wants to find out what it can do, this is a good place to do it?

PB: Yes. If you don’t know what you’re do­ing, if you have no train­ing, that’s a recipe for dis­as­ter if you de­cide to go out and ex­plore the lim­its. But do­ing it in an event like this, you’re do­ing it in a far bet­ter sit­u­a­tion. And again, if your at­ti­tude is cor­rect, you will learn through that ex­pe­ri­ence of what your ca­pa­bil­i­ties are. Ev­ery­one’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties are al­ways dif­fer­ent; it’s not about com­pet­ing with others, but ev­ery­one learn­ing and im­prov­ing, and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing what you and your car can do – and en­joy­ing your­self do­ing it.

It doesn’t even have to be a quick car. It’s not about hav­ing the fastest car or the most horse­power. Nowa­days so many peo­ple think, as soon as they buy their new V8 or turbo, that they want to get more horse­power. It’s dumb. Cars to­day have got so much bloody horse­power it’s not funny. Get ‘em han­dling and learn how to drive. Peo­ple do burnouts but where’s the skill in that? Your grand­mother could do burnouts!

You need to get peo­ple to learn. If some­thing goes wrong, a wet road or what­ever it might be, what do you do? Most peo­ple have got no idea.

Here, in a con­trolled event like this, you can start to learn. But as long as you sneak up on it. The at­ti­tude should be, you push a bit harder, and then you feel it start­ing to slide a bit, and then you can start to know what that feels like.

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