Discovering the limits of what your car is capable of is usually something that occurs by accident rather than design. Public roads are obviously not the place for finding out where the edge is between control and loss of control.
However, it is a good thing to discover this edge under safe and supervised conditions. By doing so you become more familiar with your car’s limits and how far it can be pressed under circumstances that could mean the difference between having an accident or not.
Discovering the limits of your car and learning how to control it under extreme circumstances is one of the things you learn on the “Creative Car Control” course, which is run by Mick Ryan, a professional driving instructor and the proprietor of one of Sydney’s premier driving schools. During the course, participants use their own cars on the course under instruction, so you can gain full control of the vehicle and get the best from it.
There is a good balance between fun and practicality on this course. On the practical side, participants learn what to expect from their car and how to avoid getting in to trouble in the first place. They learn slide and spin control, new braking and steering techniques, threshold braking and obstacle avoidance in a safe environment.
As already mentioned, most drivers only experience what happens when they slide or lose control unintentionally – and often just before having an accident. So this can be somewhat of a hair-raising experience at times, but the course is held at OranPark’s large (and often wet) concrete skidpan, so there is plenty of room to spin and slide around safely.
On the fun side, participants also learn the finer points of handbrake turns as well as how to flick their car around in a ‘J’ turn. It’s not something you really need on the road, but it is great fun to be able to learn how to do something that is only ever seen in TV advertisements or movies. The day ends with an “expression session” where pretty much anything goes.
Ryan and other instructors often hop into the car through the day to guide participants through the steps of both emergency training techniques as well as more entertaining manoeuvres.
Sessions are held from 9am to 4pm. A briefing session is held in the morning, and refreshments and lunch are provided throughout the day.
Price: $395. For more information, contact RedBalloonDays on 1300 87 55 00 or visit www.redballoondays.com.au.