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Advanced Driving Course

Broadcast dates : 30th October 2005
5th November 2005


Ever wondered what Clint gets up when heís not racing, or flashing his molars on Car Torque? Well, he runs a driving school called Mercedes-Benz Dynamic Driving.

Special guest on the show this week was Lesego Motsepe, better known as Lettie in Isidingo.

The Mercedes-Benz Dynamic Driving course is certainly about fun, but mostly about safety.

The skidpan at Zwartkops Raceway simulates extreme conditions on the road, whether the road is dry or wet. Lock up the brakes and the car simply wonít steer.

The schoolís Merc C55s have been modified so that safety programmes like ABS braking can be switched off for this exercise.

When the ABS is switched off Ė which you canít do in a standard C55 Ė turning left, right and left again has no effect when the wheels are locked.

The only way to regain control is to come off the brakes once they lock up to stop the wheels skidding. Lock, release, turn, and then re-apply the brakes.

Once the pupils have learnt about brake lock-up, itís time to teach skid control techniques, normally induced by feeding too much power.
This is the art of counter-steering, or opposite lock as it used to be called.

When the tail steps out, you turn into the skid. And if you are really good, you can do that almost before the skid develops.

It took Lesego a few 180 degree spins before she got the hang of it. But by the end of the morning she was ready to tackle the Zwartkops race track, where the tarmac offers about 10 times more grip.

On the race track, Clint and his crew teach the art of smooth driving. The idea is to get smooth first, after which speed comes naturally.

When she plays Lettie on Isidingo, Lesego is known as "The One Who Never Smiles". After the Merc Dynamic Driving course, we believe her agent was thinking of auditioning her for a Colgate ad.

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