words/photos: Talia Pakkala
What started as an overcast and humid Sunday morning, briefly turned torrential downpour on Audi Club Georgia’s Car Control Clinic at Atlanta Motorsports Park (AMP). To some, this would have meant cancellation of future activities and closing for the day. For quattro owners however, it meant understanding how quattro preforms in real-world, imperfect conditions.
The day started off breaking the 30+ students into two groups, each with their own set of instructors. These students ranged from all shapes, sizes and makes! From RS 3 to RS 6, e-tron to Tesla, Porsche Macan’s to BMW X3 and all Audi marques in between.
One group started out on the dry course (or what should have been dry). Here they practiced lane changing, accident avoidance and braking with ABS. Thanks to these instructors giving each person individual feedback, the same group of timid drivers pulling slowly through sets of cones, unsure of how to handle their cars, ended their 1 hour 30-minute session with confidence as they increased their speeds while safely and smoothly executing lane changes.
On the other end of the facility, the second group was experiencing AMP’s ice hill and skid pad. This purposefully wet course gives drivers a better understanding of how their vehicles will or will not perform in wet conditions. Instructors here helped students experience losing control of their vehicle to hone those skills needed in bringing it back under control. Alongside the ice hill were uphill and downhill slaloms, giving students another chance to practice smoothness and reaction time when avoiding obstacles on the road.
A break for southern BBQ lunch gave students a chance to listen and ask questions to the team of instructors, led by Ted Dannemiller. The classroom session went on to discuss the AMP track, giving students a better understanding of how to safely and effectively navigate the course – an added option for those interested in learning more about their vehicle capabilities. Groups of 3 led by instructors allowed students the chance to see a glimpse of what HPDE’s are like for those of us that have long caught the bug.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of all volunteers that came together to plan and execute this event, all the attendees walked away ready to plan their next opportunity to learn their cars more.