The driving culture is something that I have been involved in since I can remember, it is part of who I am. I spent much of my youth driving ATVs on frozen lakes, dirt tracks and road shotgun in race cars. That taught me a lot about slip angle, vehicle dynamics and control before I even had a license. These days I prefer a car or a kart but regardless I enjoy honing my craft. The best way I have found to do that outside of track time is in the ice and snow.
If you want to be thrown in the deep end of learning how to handle a car with no traction venture out into a remote location and get to it. Bring a friend to watch from a distance and turn the nannies off. I am never one to condone recklessness, speeding or driving outside of one ‘s ability level. To me driving slow in a parking lot that is vacant, a cul-de-sac (sorry to all of our French readers for using that term) or in my case a vacant circle around a fountain and some adjacent streets, can provide a safe means of getting acquainted with vehicle dynamics. It is amazing what one can learn to do when friction is limited on cold tires at 5-10 mph (safe speed that should cause no damage to bumpers minus paint).
Tonight was one of those nights that I just wanted to get at it. Germany has been brutally cold of late but we have not had snow (3 ” all winter). Tonight it was in the single digits with a nice covering of packed snow on the cobble stones. That surface combination is better than any wet polished concrete slab a driving school can throw out there. It was a blast even though I was going slow. An hour or so later I am back in from the cold (of course the windows needed to be down to aid in vision) and I ‘m happy to say that unlike on the skid pad there is no tire wear in the winter (another plus). It took a few minutes to shake off the rust but the instincts are still there and hopefully nature will cooperate and I can get back out sooner than later.
I know this post is worthless without video but it is difficult to video in low light in snow with what I am working with.
I hopefully sparked some interest in keeping things safe and learning a bit more about car control…