Odette enjoys the Audi Driving Experience!

Recently I was given the opportunity to enjoy the Audi High Performance Driving Course.  Audi has their own Driving Academy aptly called 4Rings.  I was excited to participate but at the same time felt slightly nervous in terms of the capabilities of the cars along with the calibre of the other participants.  Motorsport experiences are generally male dominated and I just knew that I would be faced with another group of overzealous car enthusiasts.  It can be difficult to chat with your peer group when all they talk about is the performance of the car they drive and your contribution is the latest shoe fashions from Jimmy Choo or Chanel’s latest fragrance.  Talk about fashion with any many and within seconds his inner light is starting to dim. 

On arrival I was welcomed by the 4Rings Instructors who asked me to complete the indemnity forms along with other basic paperwork.  I was concerned by how long they scrutinised my driving licence for and was worried that they may do a spot check with the metropolitan police to see how many fines I have outstanding.  When I met the driving instructors I realised instantly that the 4Rings driving academy offers a service of excellence.  All of the instructors wore impeccable uniforms, they showed great pride in the brand they represented and exuded the enthusiasm needed to ensure a great day for their clients. 

The first session of the day was theory.  The head instructor and co-owner of the academy presented this session and it was seconds into the presentation before all participants were riveted.  He had so much energy as a presenter, he was humorous and technical.  Whilst he was technical I found the delivery of his speech to be very easy to understand.  There were a few areas where I felt completely overwhelmed by all the detail but if I was able to understand 90% of the session then anyone can.  I learnt some interesting safety facts about how to keep my car (not just an Audi) well maintained and more importantly how to prepare for long journeys including tire pressure.  I never thought I would find so much interest in a subject as ‘boring’ as tire pressure – but I now understand the dangers of not having tires pressurised as they should be and the myths surrounding tires that explode if filled too full. 

After our theory session we headed outside and split into groups of 3.  Each car can take up to 3 passengers along with the instructor.  This means that for every exercise you do, it will be done 4 times.  Once by the instructor, followed by each participant.  We had our pictures taken and headed to the track for our first high performance driving exercise.  

I felt slightly nervous when it was my turn to drive.  The Audi was automatic and I’m used to driving a manual.  Audi as a vehicle is so dynamic and includes the latest technologies enough to baffle any technological dinosaur’s mental capacity.  Everything is electronic and fully automatic, apart from driving it of course.  What a pleasure to drive such a beautiful car.  The Audi holds the road so well and exudes power and stealth.  

We practiced various exercises to include driving between cones at high speeds where the cones are meant to represent obstacles in the road which you would then have to swerve to avoid.  This was a difficult exercise but well worth the practice.  We then did various emergency stop exercises to include emergency stopping along with swerving.  It was great to experience the high performance of the vehicle when the instructors executed the first example of each exercise.  I enjoyed driving the car around the track and practicing the entry and exit of taking corners.  The highlight for me was when the instructors displayed emergency stopping techniques and how long it takes for a car to come to a complete stop if driving at various top speeds.  I was selected to sit as passenger in the car as the instructor took the Audi to speeds of 160 km per hour to then slam on the breaks and come to a complete stop.  What I enjoyed most was not only the speed but more so to watch the instructor as his body shifted with excitement and adrenaline in the driving seat as he drove around the track increasing speed to 160 kms.  His wriggled and shifted and we giggled about how boring he must find every day traffic.  He said that he would climb the walls in traffic if he didn’t have the track as his outlet during the day.  Luckily when he put on the brakes he was an expert and I didn’t find my teeth stuck in the dash board.  

Having completed the Audi High Performance Driving Course I feel a new sense of empowerment as I drive in every day traffic.  It has added golden benefit in terms of my driving technique which benefits me, my passengers and other motorists.  I highly recommend this high performance driving course for anyone, even if you don’t drive an Audi.  The instructors are professional, humorous and highly experienced.  The event was run with precision and excellence.  The refreshments, lunch and snacks were of a high standard and in bounty.  We all had more than enough fuel for the duration of the great day we enjoyed. 

All in all the Audi High Performance Driving Course left me excited, a better equipped driver, improved my confidence and buying lottery tickets in the hope that I can afford one of those beautiful cars in the near future.  

Special thanks to Audi 4Rings Driving Academy for hosting such a great day.

Learn more about this exciting experience via http://www.celestialgifts.co.za

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Written and prepared for by Odette Butcher, Chief Experience Officer, Celestial Gift Experiences, August 2011