Even if you mess up, you keep going… it’s part of the learning experience… 

Winter driving, Porsche-style.
Winter driving, Porsche-style.
Winter driving, Porsche-style.
Winter driving, Porsche-style.
Winter driving, Porsche-style.

Picture this: You’re a teenager with a driver’s license, your wealthy parents have left you alone for the day and there has just been a huge snowfall.

Turns out, they decided to take the SUV and the Porsche Carrera 4S is sitting all by its lonesome in the garage.

All your friends are busy so you’ll need to make your own fun today. But how?

The key to this stellar coupe, which generally remains under armoured guard, somehow surfaces. Then you hear a voice calling your name. You look around and wonder if you’re imagining things or if the milk you drank for breakfast had expired.

You look down and the key fob and it is speaking to you. Through its German accent you decipher words like, traction control off, sliding sideways, car control, and the best of all, you won’t get in trouble.

Then giddiness overcomes your body. Your eyes widen. Your smile is uncontrollable.

Before you know it you’re nestled cozily in the heated sport driver’s seat, looking where you want to go and having the time of your life; sliding sideways on a snow and ice track in a $140,000 sports car.

Life is wunderbar. The best part about this teenage dream is that it’s not a teenage dream.

It’s a reality.

For those wanting to learn car control on a designated ice/snow track, it’s entirely possible thanks to Porsche’s Camp4 training school. The track’s location is less than a couple of hours outside of Montreal, Quebec at Mecaglisse. It’s a playground for the German automaker’s, rear-wheel drive 911 Carrera S and Cayman, along with the all-wheel drive 911 Carrera 4S.

You’ll have the opportunity to drive all three vehicles in various parts of the facility. Whether you are learning how to control over and understeer on the oval, or learning how to appropriately kick the back end out by blipping the throttle at the slalom, chances are, you’ll have a grin on your face the whole time.

And if you spin out, you just keep going.

The program commences with a driver’s briefing and drivers are introduced to their instructors. Proper seating position is explained and then it’s time to hit the track.

Exercises are done with two people to each car, and each Porsche is equipped with radios that are linked together. That way, the instructor can talk to you and give you pointers while they observe what’s going on.

Sometimes you get praise. Sometimes you get constructive criticism. It’s just part of the process.

Two major points that were stressed in any of the exercises were: look where you want to go not where you are going and the tires can only do one job at a time.

The latter means that if you are trying to brake and turn in tandem, chances are you won’t have the maximum amount of traction, and therefore, you can upset the balance of the car and possibly not execute the manouevre you were trying to do.

Even if you do make a mistake, you just dust off the snow and try again.

The Camp4 program originated in Finland in 1996 and has since been executed around the world. It’s hard to believe how much you can learn in such a short amount of time.

And how much your face will hurt afterwards! – That’s not even because of sub zero temperatures.

The cost of Camp4 is $5,195 (plus applicable taxes).

That includes three nights accommodation at The Esterel Suites & Spa (a luxury hotel in a nearby area,) two full days of driving and all your meals and transfers from the track.

As I said, even if you mess up, you keep going. And no, you won’t get in trouble for having fun. It’s part of the learning experience.

Visit Porsche’s winter driving website for more information.

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

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