STUNTS FOR FUN

NT News - Motoring - - News -

TUNT driv­ing. Men­tion those two words and most car en­thu­si­asts who have ever sat through a James Bond movie will imag­ine them­selves do­ing some­thing in­cred­i­bly danger­ous in a car they could never af­ford.

So, when the op­por­tu­nity arose for me to give the Driver Dy­nam­ics stunt driv­ing school a go, I had vi­sions of my­self swerv­ing a Fer­rari through a flam­ing build­ing side­ways and mak­ing a grace­ful exit through a plate glass win­dow.

With that in mind, I promptly said what any self-re­spect­ing 20-some­thing male would say to such an of­fer. Yes.

A few days later I dis­cov­ered I would need to know how to drive a man­ual — which put a kink in my plans to ap­pear in Die Hard 5.

Three days out be­fore my stunt driv­ing de­but I en­listed my dad to give me a quick les­son in a man­ual — which turned into sev­eral lessons in which he did lit­tle ex­cept laugh.

But, by the time I ar­rived at the Sandown race track I was cool,

Scalm and pos­sessed the con­fi­dence to drive a man­ual. Or so I thought.

Track­side, I was a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed to dis­cover the Fer­rari from my stunt dreams had been re­placed by a Mini Cooper. That’s the first les­son. It’s not the size of the car, it’s the awe­some stunts you can do in it that counts.

There are sev­eral things you should never, ever do on the road. Four of them fea­tured in the Driver Dy­nam­ics stunt driv­ing school.

The main idea is to give driv­ers a chance to ex­pe­ri­ence sit­u­a­tions in which they lose com­plete con­trol of a car, but in a con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment so you can en­joy it.

Per­haps the most tricky stunt is driv­ing on two wheels.

Put sim­ply, cars are nor­mally not meant to be driven on two wheels.

That’s why Driver Dy­nam­ics wears out about 400 tyres a year teach­ing two-wheel tech­niques.

And they cer­tainly aren’t meant to be driven on two wheels by any­one without a LOT of ex­pe­ri­ence.

This is where Driver Dy­nam­ics head hon­cho and chief in­struc­tor Kevin Flynn comes in.

Rather than swerve to avoid a care­lessly placed ramp, he uses it to tilt the Toy­ota Yaris gen­tly on to two wheels.

He then takes you for a leisurely spin around the course with a bit of small talk thrown in so you will not freak out.

Con­ve­niently there is an outrig­ger-type ex­ten­sion at­tached the the side of the car to catch it be­fore it rolls.

It’s not ex­actly fac­tory stan­dard (or even an op­tion, re­ally) but it is com­fort­ing to see it when you’re looking at the bi­tu­men through the driver’s-side win­dow.

For­tu­nately, a pro­fes­sional is on hand for the two-wheeled stunt.

How­ever, all par­tic­i­pants are in­vited to have a go at jump­ing the Minis.

The ramp rises at a 30-de­gree an­gle, end­ing rather abruptly and with a drop off on ei­ther side that could rip the un­der­side out of a car.

In the in­ter­est of safety a gov­er­nor lim­its the top jump speed to 40km/h.

All you re­ally have to do is keep the car in a straight line and floor it.

For those who can­not drive a man­ual you can still go along for a ride as part of the Driver Dy­nam­ics Wild Ride pack­age.

No one has been in­jured in the course and it is pop­u­lar as a gift, pre­sum­ably by those looking to bring for­ward their in­her­i­tance or avoid a messy di­vorce.

As a bonus you get a cer­tifi­cate to prove you’re a stunt driver.

There’s prob­a­bly not a lot you can do with it but it will look good on the CV, even as a talk­ing point. Be­sides, you never know where it could lead.

Se­ri­ously, any­one work­ing on Die Hard 5. I’m avail­able.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.