“For someone learning to be a better winter driver, having appropriate tires, a mechanically sound vehicle and the right teachers will certainly increase confidence…”

Mecaglisse, Quebec.

Whatever your craft or hobby of choice is, having the right tools to execute your activities is paramount.

As an avid scrapbooker, I couldn’t imagine my life without a sharp pair of scissors, photos, flashy paper and double-sided tape. If you’re a runner, proper footwear mitigates injuries and minimizes blisters.

For someone learning to be a better winter driver, having appropriate tires, a mechanically sound vehicle and the right teachers will certainly increase confidence in slippery situations.

Enter Porsche’s Camp4: a winter driving program available to everyone. It’s an event I’ve attended before and learned a lot from.

But what’s it like for someone who’s already considered a professional driver? – BC resident Scott Hargrove is well versed in racing. He joined our group of international journalists on the program.

At 20 years old, he’s the current GT3 Porsche Cup Challenge champion in Canada. He also took home second place in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. That was just his 2014 race year. His résumé is impressive and he knows a thing or two about car control. Then again, we can all learn something new, no matter how good we are.

“Driving on snow and ice is extremely different to any situation I have been in before,” remarks Scott.

“The technique is completely different compared to racing on pavement, where the fastest way around the track is the smoothest. On snow and ice, it’s all about pitching the car sideways and using the throttle to execute the turn. So despite my extensive racing background, this was a whole new experience for me with a whole new learning curve.”

Each Porsche at Camp4, whether it be a Cayman, Carrera, rear or all-wheel drive, were equipped with Nokian 1.5mm studded tires.

Yes, we needed grip but we also wanted to slide these amazing machines sideways!

As the group is having the time of our lives, the purpose of the activities is to connect with the car and feel how the ice track beneath us is ever changing. Each lap brings new challenges – sometimes it got so slippery our only option was to spin out – or as the instructors would say, “we’d run out of talent!”

The unnerving feeling – exhilarating in most cases – of pitching a car into a corner and holding the slide leaves you with a real sense of accomplishment. Or left me wanting to become a rally driver.

Underneath the smiling faces is a much more satisfying feeling; the feeling of being more confident in yourself and your abilities to adapt to different environments.

As Scott and I are chatting, I ask why he thinks this kind of training is both good for him and every other driver out there.

“Camp 4 will teach you more about car control over any other form of high performance driving school,” Scott says.

“Being in a low traction environment allows you to slide a car at slow speeds. Drivers can then get a feel for what is like to slide a car, react appropriately and recover. This experience will translate directly to the street and help any driver in an emergency situation.”

Learning to be a better driver and having a lot of fun doing it? Yes, I’m ready for that.

So is Scott.

“I would go back in a heartbeat,” he adds.
“Who wouldn’t love to drive a whole range of Porsches in the snow? It’s an experience you don’t get to have very often and one you definitely don’t want to miss out on!”

Visit http://www.porsche.com/canada-pde/en/yourcamp4/ for more information on Porsche’s Camp4.

Contact: alexandra [dot] straub [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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