I arrived around 11:30am and was immediately impressed by the scale of this event. I more or less expected some small tents, porta-potties and a few cars to be scattered around. Instead, I found a large number of Audis and some very impressive looking temporary buildings, complete with reception, buffet and classrooms, all very well appointed with cushy leather seats and nicely heated. I immediately returned the bag full of wet weather gear back to the car since it was clear I wasn't going to need it.
Lunch was first, catered by The Dirty Apron (made me happy!), while I watched the previous group (they had an early start) finish off their classes out on the field. It was still dry then so they had a tanker truck spray water in strategic places for the various exercises. Once lunch was done we were divided into groups and headed for the classrooms where we got some basic theory about tire physics, weight distribution and other information to prepare us for the events to follow. I was in the S4 group, looking forward to getting out there.
|Yep, flat screens mounted in the classrooms for instruction|
|the R8 having fun|
|S4 in understeer practise|
After a quick coffee break (they had a full espresso bar that served up a choice Cappuccino) and some more instruction, this time about emergency braking and cone slaloms, we headed for the A6s.
|The A6s, looking all sinister...|
The cone slalom was the bit that I had the most trouble with, the first couple of cones would be fine but error accumulation meant further down I would get into trouble, mowing down cones and on some runs, completely losing control of the car. After a few tries I got the hang of it a bit better, the instructor giving feedback through a 2-way radio all the time.
This was a great event, I learned quite a bit and was very impressed by the production values. Audi looked after us very well in terms of creature comforts, the instructors were very good (all competitive race car drivers of some variety) and even though the weather was absolutely terrible, it added to the challenge. During the closing comments it was mentioned that Audi is looking at doing more of these including advanced courses and an R8 experience. All I said was 'sign me up!'