Category: Advanced Driving

What is DRIFT mode?

What is DRIFT mode? And why are the media so excited about it!

If you have watched the news this last week you would have seen a lot of excited ‘road safety experts’ going on about the new Ford Focus RS that comes with a “Drift” mode.

https://twitter.com/7NewsMelbourne/status/753508450173190144

The experts are saying this will encourage hooning and increase the chance of crashes on our roads.

What surprises us is that for as long as we can remember – high powered Australian cars have had a button to turn off the traction control and desensitise the stability control systems. In fact nearly every car on the market has this option at the push of a button.

The new Ford clearly indicates the track and drift modes are for track use only – and like any vehicle – relies entirely on the driver to operate it safely on public roads.

As opposed to normal vehicles and systems – the Ford actually adjusts a number of parameters to allow the vehicle to be driven more aggressively and potentially the vehicle could slide or drift around a track or skidpan.

Performance Driving Australia run regular track days for owners of such vehicles to come and enjoy them in a safe, controlled environment away from public roads.

We  believe that the media and experts have some valid points – however education is the key – and drivers of any vehicle should be familiar with the safety systems, how they work, when to use them and what the possible outcomes are if they choose to disengage them.

All of this is covered in our programs and we believe this knowledge not only reduces the ‘hooning’ behaviour but also allows drivers to fully understand and appreciate the technology that keeps them safe on every day roads.

The new Ford Focus RS looks like a great car with a lot of safety features – and a clever computer that allows you to have more driver input when at the track.

A great article that explains more about the Ford Focus RS can be found here – http://www.caradvice.com.au/462557/thank-you-ford-for-focus-rs-drift-mode/

We remind you that Australia has very strict laws and that anyone found drifting or doing a burnout in a vehicle on public roads can and most likely will have their car confiscated by the police. So come to a track day and enjoy your car safely!

Advanced Driver Training – Safe / Fun / Educational

Advanced Driver Evo 9 Advanced Driver Training Yellow Evo 9 PDA Advanced Track Day Learner driver at Advanced Driving Day GT86 Performance Driving Australia Lancer Baskerville RacewayEver wanted to give your car a ‘squirt’?

The temptation to give your new high performance car a bit of extra right foot can be detrimental to your wallet, licence and ultimately your safety.

Never fear – Performance Driving Australia has the solution!

Advanced Driver Training – Baskerville Raceway, Tasmania.

With a growing demand for advanced driving training days, Performance Driving Australia have just held another program at Baskerville Raceway near Hobart in Tasmania this weekend and are planning additional dates now.

The most recent day was a huge success with nearly 20 new drivers attending the full day program that included a range of driving exercises to practice braking, cornering and general car handling.

Drivers were then provided with 1:1 in car tuition for a few laps before being allowed to use the full track in the afternoon.

Drivers who have attended an advanced driving morning session before were able to just attend the afternoon session at a reduced cost.

With a total of 25 drivers attending the Advanced Driving day, the Performance Driving Australia crew were kept busy and all drivers had a great day with plenty of track time.

The track was wet all day – providing an extra challenge but all drivers drove well with no one ending up in the kitty litter.

For the first time, Performance Driving Australia also engaged the services of St Johns Ambulance who attended with an ambulance and crew providing an extra level of safety.

“These days are growing in popularity as they provide a unique chance to drive on the track with training from our experienced crew. There is no safer place to test your car and skills and we are always pleased to see the improvement in drivers abilities after each program. We committed to running more of these in Tasmania and hope to expand into the other states in the future”.

Performance Driving Australia will soon be launching a Performance Drivers Club with special offers for our advanced days and more. Stay tuned by following us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/performancedrivingaustralia or contact us at info@performancedrivingaustralia.com.

 

Driving the Mercedes A45 AMG at Symmons Plains

When I think about Mercedes, I usually think of soft leather interiors, smooth conservative looks and a lounge room on wheels driving experience – perfect for those long Sunday drives to the wine region or local yacht club.

Mercedes-A45-AMG-13C161_04What most people don’t realise is that there is a wild child out the back of the Mercedes factory who works under a different set or rules – tweaking, probing and turning limos into rocket ships. This wild child hides his work under the initials – AMG.

The opportunity to drive the A45 AMG at Symmons Plains was provided by a proud owner – who after completing a defensive driving program was keen to see what the car was capable of when unleashed on the full track.

At fist instance the cute looking hatchback could be just ‘another’ car with a few stickers and a few wings so that the manufacturer can sell it as a sports pack. Look a little closer and you realise that the wings are carbon fibre, the brakes are massive and when you climb into the cockpit the seats are probably the closest thing to a full race seat you will find in a passenger vehicle.

It is quickly evident why you need good seats when you start to push this little car into corners. With 265kw in a car the size of a Hyundai I30 (over double the power to put that into perspective) things get pretty exciting when you find the firewall.

Braking from over 180km/h we arrive at the famous hairpin at Symmons Plains – the slowest corner in the Australian V8 Supercars series. Steering is responsive, precise and provides a good feel allowing you to position the car exactly where you want to be.

The 7 speed sequential gearbox is fantastic. A little slow on the down shifts but bangs up the gears with a defined exhaust pop that creates a real experience that is addictive and really adds to the experience.

With 4WD looking after the power delivery – the car is stable mid corner and only experiences a small amount of oversteer if you are heavy on the power exiting a corner. I am sure this could be exploited further if someone was supplying the tyres!

Overall the car felt solid, quick and really allowed me to concentrate on the actual driving. I have driven quicker cars – but they all required a lot more input and left you feeling ragged. This little rocket would be not far behind – happily nipping at the heels waiting for the other driver’s to make a mistake.

Off the race track the car handles and performs like most other quality European cars with maybe a slightly harsher ride but certainly not considered uncomfortable by any means.

I am often asked to ‘test drive’ customers cars and I usually turn the opportunity down – but the reviews I had read of this little car had me keen to try it for myself – and I wasn’t dissapointed.

It may be the smaller of the AMG range – but it certainly has every right to wear the badge and hang out with much more expensive machinery both on and off the track.

– PDA Managing Director – Mark Butcher

 

 

Tassie drivers take to the track – Saturday 7th March

advanced driving hobartA group of 19 enthusiastic drivers took to the track at Baskerville Raceway on March 7th to learn a bit about driving and their cars under the watchful eye of Performance Driving Australia (www.performancedrivingaustralia.com).

The drivers were provided instruction on emergency braking, cornering and completed a slalom obstacle test before heading out to do laps of the challenging track with in-car coaching.

“PDA encourage safe driving and for those who want to learn a bit more and go a bit faster these advanced driving days are ideal. A mix of exercises and then supervised track sessions allows drivers to build confidence and skill in a safe environment” said Performance Driving Australia Manager Mark Butcher.

The mix of drivers and cars made for a good day. The social interaction and atmosphere was great and everyone went home with a better understanding of performance driving.driver training with pda

Performance Driving Australia are now planning some more regular Advanced Driving Days and hope to attract more drivers who have performance vehicles and would like to enjoy them safely.

Contact Performance Driving Australia at info@performancedrivingaustralia.com or like their facebook page for regular updates.

Enjoy a few pics of the drivers on the day. See you at our next event – May 23, 2015!

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Corporate Team Building Events

This content is for members only

Advanced Driver Training – Adelaide

Do you drive long distances on country roads for work?

Can you stop your car safely from 110km/h?

What happens when you enter a corner going too fast?

Do you live in Adelaide, South Australia?

Performance Driving Australia (www.performancedrivingaustralia.com) is hosting an Advanced Driver Training day at Tailem Bend Motorsport park on the outskirts of Adelaide in September, 2014.

The Performance Driving Australia advanced driving course will cover a range of practical driving exercises to help you stay safe on the road.

Emergency braking and hazard avoidance at a variety of speeds will be the focus in the morning session before heading out after lunch to learn about cornering, skid prevention and advanced car control techniques.

At the end of the day you will understand your car and your own driving abilities and be able to handle a variety of situations safely.

The facility at Tailem Bend is approximately one hour from Adelaide and has been purpose built for driver training and vehicle testing.

It was previously owned by and operated as a testing and proving ground by a vehicle manufacturer.

All Performance Driving Australia trainers are friendly and highly experienced and the day is valuable for experienced drivers or drivers who are looking at gaining more skills behind the wheel.

The course is available in all states of Australia for group bookings – however we are able to take individual bookings at this course on September 26.

The course fee is $275+GST per driver. Drivers must have at least a improvisational licence to attend. To make a booking or for more info call 08 6144 4804 or email info@performancedrivingaustralia.com cropped-Symmons-Plains-Advanced-Course1.jpg