After a hearty breakfast and an introduction to the day’s format it’s time to meet our instructors and get down to business. Starting with the basics, we’re given a detailed run-down about correct driving position (hands at 9 and 3 o’clock), wing mirror positioning (too wide for doing your hair) and, most importantly, the need to avoid – at all costs – resting an elbow on the door sill.
Most people regard themselves as pretty good drivers but our instructor, Winton, is prepared to excuse our faults by stating (correctly, in my case) that we were probably taught to drive by our dads.
Transitioning between the Golf GTI Performance and the all-wheel-drive Golf R, the eager students are put through a series of drills to provide Winton with some idea of each individual’s skill set. Each drill is an opportunity to iron out some of the poor driving habits that generations of dads have passed down to their kids.
After a tentative first attempt at a simple slalom between some battle-worn witch’s hats, it’s time to put the foot down and show Mr Winton just what we’re capable of.
A couple of speedy runs and one or two ‘dead’ hats later, we dial things up a notch with a full stop at the end of each run to test reaction times and braking styles.
The 60km/h attempt is fine and 70km/h cranks up the sweat glands, while the final run at 80km/h makes for some nervous moments and some more seriously damaged witch’s hats.