I was clueless! I was doing everything wrong. When it comes to driving, that is.
You’d think that for someone who came from the loins of a former competitive rally driver and someone who used to market Subaru for a living, I’d have more idea as to what correct driving is. All these while, I’d prided myself for being a more competent driver than the average Malaysians, but it’s all a lie! My totem was spinning, ha ha.
When I got the call about MINI Driver Training, to be honest I was more interested in trashing the brand new Mini Coopers more than anything :P Little did I know that the 1-day course would change my driving style entirely.
# – MINI Driver Training
Our instructors were Hammond Lai, Ivan Khong, Irwan Ismail and Wong Kah Keen. Seeing Ivan’s face brought relief as he was the instructor for the awesome BMW drive last year (read about BMW Drive here & here).
# – We’re in good hands.
We started the day in a classroom where we learnt about the correct way to hold a steering wheel, how to steer correctly, the types of braking and many more. It’s about unlearning the bad habits and adopting the correct techniques.
# – Back to school :D
After the end of the class, it’s time to get into the cars for some practical lessons! The cars we got to use were not just any Mini Cooper, they’re Mini Cooper S :D
# – Our car was the red hot number 8.
# – Driving the MINI :D
# – Queuing up for a serving of fun.
First, we got to warm up by slaloming through some cones.
# – Swear it wasn’t me who knocked down the cone!
We were taught how to do emergency lane change, emergency braking, braking & swerving, recognising & countering understeer and Agent-Turn.
# – Getting briefed by Ivan Khong.
# – I think this was the recognising & countering understeer session.
It’s actually a very exhausting thing, re-learning how to drive. By afternoon we were famished. Thank goodness for the lovely lunch spread catered by Putrajaya Shangri-la.
# – At lunch with ST.
After lunch, it’s driving again. Ahhh life, I love it!
# – Don’t even know my arms could do that :P
The most awesome part of the day was learning how to make the Agent Turn. It’s actually a more glamourous way of saying J-Turn. Yeah, we learnt how to stunt drive! No words could describe how shit scared and excited I was!!
A J-Turn is a driving maneuver used to reverse a backwards-traveling vehicle so as to continue driving in the same direction, but with the vehicle pointed forward. The J-Turn is also called “moonshiner’s turn”, based on the elusive driving tactics used by bootleggers.
Here’s a video of an Agent Turn demonstration by the instructor, followed by my own attempts… hehe.
After that, we got back to the Pit to find a lot of helmets lined up. Turned out we’re going onto Sepang track!!!
# – Never have I loved helmets so much.
# – On Sepang circuit :D
# – Ready to rumble.
# – And off we go..
# – Focusing on not spinning out.
And that concluded the MINI Driver Training course. I was awarded a certificate and according to it, I passed with flying colours :D From now on, if you see me on the road, you don’t have to slow down to avoid me because I am now a safe(r) driver!
# – Graduation ceremony. Check out Ivan’s bling bling trainers!!
# – Group pic.
Wow, what a day! Thanks Sashi and BMW! Am filing this under my ‘Special & Cool‘ category :)