Spin Cycle

Bandimere course offers drivers a chance to test their skills in icy conditions

Lynsey Johnson, Staff Writer

For Christmas, I got this cool present. Although unconventional in terms of gifts, it was a driving class that focused on how to be more comfortable driving in icy and snowy weather conditions.

It was at Bandimere Speedway. At first, I was a little nervous to try it, but I ended up having so much fun.

I learned a lot about a car’s traction on wet pavement. Turns out your car doesn’t have as much traction as you would think.

The course sets up a slide pad and pours water on it for a good 20 minutes. I took a two-hour session doing so many drills.

We started out sliding and breaking in the water, and progressed to spinning and losing control just to see how the car reacts and my reactions with the steering wheel.

I’ve learned that most drivers react terribly to a car spinning out. We took a step back and learned that the best way to react is in this format: look in the direction you want to go, no gas or brakes, hand to hand, feet on the wheel, and you’ll get the results you want.

For those of you who have a hard time driving in the icy conditions or just got your license, I say go take this course.

It’s totally worth it to take the class even if you are good at drifting. Drivers still learn how to be safer about it.

You will learn where the weight of the car is when you are drifting so you can control the car with your eyes shut.

The instructor wanted to prove a point to me, and he had me do it with my eyes closed. I was perfect, and it was amazing how well you can read it.

The instructors I had were all trained professional drivers and they get in your car with you and teach you where to find different things, such as how to know if your car has ABS brakes, if you have all-wheel drive, traction control and all of those technical things.

We went over where the point right before the ABS brakes come on, so you are still breaking fast but aren’t engaging the ABS.

This class was so informational I learned things I didn’t know and I’ve been driving for a little over a year.