Phil Brock Q&A
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.