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Dynamic Handling Masterclass Driving Course Review

First of all, let me say a huge thank you for your efforts during my day with you at Millbrook. This was one of the best days I have had driving my Maserati and left me with a myriad of lessons to work on that will gel to make me a better, smoother and more accomplished driver. I recognised before seeing you that I had a lot to learn before I could confidently say that I could ‘drive’ my car, and I was not surprised to see that I was correct in that judgement. What did surprise me though was, even after reading your excellent e-book, how far away from polished I actually was.

One area that I felt I might be ok was my observation. I like to think that I do look well ahead to plan my route through bends and tighter turns, but this of course gets all the more frantic when the speed builds, and it was a great lesson to me that even reasonably good observation needs to be much better to safely negotiate challenging roads. This was a lesson I didn’t expect to learn but one which has had a big effect on me since the course.

On the handling circuit in the morning, you more or less let me go at it with a view to measuring the level I was at. This was where I think I learnt a very substantial lesson about the car. I was undoubtedly relatively slow at first and was definitely taking the wrong lines into and out of the bends. After you did a short demonstration for me, just a couple of laps if I recall, I realised just how much more the car was capable of than I had given it credit for. Once overcoming this vital bit of learning, I felt my confidence increase significantly, knowing that if/when I made a mistake that the car was well within its capabilities, so a correction from me would be easily ‘accepted’. This allowed me to push on a little more than I had been before, confident that I could remain safe even when entering previously unchartered territory. Your short demonstration really set me up for the rest of the day and I’m delighted that you suggested it; I learnt a great deal from that.

The most impressive and surprising aspect of the day came on the Mile Straight. I wasn’t really too bothered about getting the car up to maximum speed on the High Speed Circuit: we know it can go fast and its not something that can be done anywhere else, so I was much more interested in the Mile Straight. Here you took me through emergency braking and manoeuvring under maximum brake pressure. Firstly, at 50mph we stopped the car within about 5 car lengths! This was a real eye opener too, as I had not applied maximum brake pressure in the car in the previous two years of owning it. In future this is something I will always do when I get a new car; it was another valuable lesson. Moving on we did the 100mph maximum brake and stopped in a similarly surprisingly short distance (albeit double the speed = quadruple the stopping distance). Again, really great lessons to pick up.

The Hill Route is a highly technical route with a great deal to think about, much of which at the beginning of the day would have been impossible, but after lunch when we worked with it I felt that I could definitely feel improvements based on what we had already covered. This was the most challenging part of the day for me, mainly because it was most like real driving and was the area in which I wanted to see genuine progress.

Before the day I hadn’t realised at all just how technical driving could be, but to be efficient on the road, smooth, fast and safe, takes a considerable amount of knowledge and solid concentration. Putting into practice therefore, all that I had learnt throughout the day was the most satisfying aspect of the course. I was far from perfect, but I was much more proficient than I had been just a few hours earlier.

Your teaching technique clearly works really well, for I learnt a great deal during the day about both my car and my own competence to drive it. I always enjoyed driving quickly but now see much more of a challenge in it. It’s no longer about just getting from A to B quickly, it’s now all about driving with sound technique to utilise the car’s capability, the road available and my learnt skills in handling the car through weight transfer, braking and effective steering. To arrive at B having achieved a technically correct drive is hugely rewarding, plus safer and with the option of arriving at B faster than before.
Thank you for a great day’s learning and experiencing the more technical aspects of driving, which have enhanced my enjoyment of my car and of my driving generally. Even my wife thinks I’m a better driver as a result!

M. Pilgrim

Your teaching technique clearly works really well, for I learnt a great deal during the day about both my car and my own competence to drive it. I always enjoyed driving quickly but now see much more of a challenge in it. It’s no longer about just getting from A to B quickly, it’s now all about driving with sound technique to utilise the car’s capability, the road available and my learnt skills in handling the car through weight transfer, braking and effective steering. To arrive at B having achieved a technically correct drive is hugely rewarding, plus safer and with the option of arriving at B faster than before. Thank you for a great day’s learning and experiencing the more technical aspects of driving, which have enhanced my enjoyment of my car and of my driving generally. Even my wife thinks I’m a better driver as a result!