From my girlfriend Eva I received school of drifting gift at Libros Safe Driving Center in Ostrava. And because it was necessary to plan it during the order, she chose today’s date.
The school of drifting started at 9am in the morning, followed by theory in the classroom, which took about 1.5 hours, and then we went through 3 hours of practice right on their runway.
For this school it is necessary to have your own vehicle and driving license. Your own vehicle is necessary to test how your particular car behaves exactly on your tires, because different cars behave differently in different situations, so it is necessary to “cope” with the behavior of the car you are driving in real situations.
In the theoretical part, the theory of safe (defensive) driving is explored, how to watch cars, how they behave in different situations and various safety features and systems in cars came along.
Then we went out to our cars and divided into three groups of six people. Each group had an instructor who was driving and conducting everything from his car. So the instructor does not drive with you, but each participant has a radio in his car, through which instructions and advice are given. Three groups are because there are three main locations on the training polygon.
We first started at the site designed for training the non-rotating skid. This is a semi-circle with reduced adhesion, which is still wet with water. On this semicircle, you try to drive at such a rate that the car gets into the skid, and then you align it with the steering wheel and release the accelerator pedal. There is also an obstruction of the obstacle in the form of a randomly occurring column of water.
The non-rotating skid was, in my view, the least fun because it was hard to keep up with the speed when the car gets into understeer, but on the other hand the skid does not get so far that you’re going out of the track.
The second station was about overturning skid. It is a large, low-adhesion skid plate where the rear axle is slung on one side or the other and the driver has to adjust the skid. According to their information, this skid plate is the strongest in Europe and can handle even a car with a weight of up to 40 tons, so there are also fire fighters and truck drivers improving their skills. It is important to drive at this constant speed at this shear plate, as the speed of the car is measured at the beginning and the shear timing accordingly.
On-board assistance in your car (ESP, etc.) can greatly help to steady the skid.
The last part was training focused on aquaplaning and emergency braking. We traveled through 4 cm water bath, and we made an evasive maneuver outside the tub between the cones and back. With higher speeds, we gradually reached the limits of the car when it was already felt that the car started swimming and stop heading. High-quality tires with a high enough pattern are very important here.
The second part was the emergency braking, when we had the car go to the prescribed speed and start braking in between the cones, that is, with the full force of “stamping” the brake pedal and dangling back in the seat. The length of the braking distance and the behavior of the car in this situation were measured, as modern cars should, for example, automatically trigger warning lights or start to flash the brake lights as well. At the same time, the braking assistant should also be activated, which keeps the wheels locked even when the brake pedal is mildly released, and of course, and of course ABS is activated.
All the training was fun and instructive from my point of view. The driver will test the limits of his car and how to behave in crisis situations, all in a safe area and under the supervision of instructors.