Car guru Ané Theron tried the Audi Sportscar Experience
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.
An instructor ensures that Ané Theron leaves all cones unturned