AVOID­ING id­iots

Car guru Ané Theron tried the Audi Sportscar Ex­pe­ri­ence

CityPress - - T# - Go to audi.co.za/sportscar­ex­pe­ri­ence for more de­tails and book­ings

So you think you’re an okay driver. You’ve never been in an accident, ex­cept for that lit­tle fender-ben­der when you were re­ply­ing to a What­sApp mes­sage that just couldn’t wait. But what hap­pens if you’re re­ally in a pickle? Like when a ran­dom idiot over­takes some­one on a blind cor­ner and there you are, in the right lane at the wrong time.

Our road accident statis­tics are stag­ger­ing, so it makes sense to in­vest in an ad­vanced driver’s course and tuck some sur­vival skills un­der the seat belt.

But if you re­ally want to have adrenalinepump­ing, awe-in­spir­ing, dopamine-in­duc­ing, ed­u­ca­tional fun while you’re at it, Audi has cre­ated an ad­vanced driver’s course with a twist.

The Audi Sportscar Ex­pe­ri­ence lets you get your safety and ef­fi­ciency groove on in the sporty and pow­er­ful Audi Qu­at­tro RS range.

For the launch of the Gaut­eng event, we were trans­ported to the Red Star Race­way near Del­mas, where the sleek Audi RS Q3s, RS4 Avants, RS5 Coupés and RS5 Cabri­o­lets were wait­ing for us.

De­signed to ride clock­wise and an­ti­clock­wise, the 4km track has 13 thrilling turns and five straights.

Af­ter a briefing by a highly qual­i­fied driv­ing in­struc­tor, we headed to the tar­mac to learn about accident pre­ven­tion for real-life sit­u­a­tions: high-speed lane-chang­ing to avoid that idiot on the blind cor­ner, over­rid­ing your ve­hi­cle’s elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol if needed, and hard-brak­ing and steer­ing at high speed.

We re­peated sev­eral ex­er­cises on the track un­til our in­struc­tor was sat­is­fied with our com­pe­tency and most of the or­ange cones re­mained stand­ing.

We were briefed again af­ter lunch. This time, the real fun started. I went tear­ing around the track while my part­ner in the pas­sen­ger seat held on for dear life and mut­tered a few prayers. At first there was quite a bit of skid­ding about, cou­pled with burn­ing rub­ber as some of us in­ex­pertly nav­i­gated the sharp twists, but af­ter some in­tense tu­ition on race-line cor­ner­ing, bal­ance and weight-shift­ing, we be­came adept at clip­ping the cor­ners per­fectly and (al­most) han­dling the Audis like pros. The su­perb per­for­mance cars emit­ted a gut­tural roar each time we floored the ac­cel­er­a­tor – and we knew we were ab­so­lutely safe do­ing so. The in­struc­tor then tail­gated us around the track to show us our er­rors and gave us a per­for­mance score.

At the end of the day, we got the chance to go for in­struc­tor-driven hot laps around the track in an Audi R8 V10 and an Audi RS7 Sport­back.

Having driven the RS7 my­self re­cently, I skipped that lap – my head was still spin­ning from my riv­et­ing ride in the Audi R8. All I can say is that I have a new-found re­spect for race-car driv­ers.

The Audi Sportscar Ex­pe­ri­ence is at the Red Star Race­way un­til Septem­ber 4, then moves to Dezzi Race­way on KZN’s south coast from Septem­ber 11–17. The course costs R3 500 and is the per­fect gift for the per­son in your life who has ev­ery­thing. A few “seats” still re­main for the KZN ses­sions.

The Fran­schhoek Mo­tor Mu­seum test track will host the Western Cape event from Oc­to­ber 1-4.

PHOTO: AUDI

OR­ANGE ALERT

An in­struc­tor en­sures that Ané Theron leaves all cones un­turned

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