The most impressive roster of very high performance models ever gathered together by Audi awaits enthusiasts on a new and even more advanced series of driving courses available throughout the summer and autumn at Northamptonshire’s Rockingham National Motor Speedway.
The thrilling line-up, which will include the 420PS R8, the 580PS RS 6 and the 272PS TTS Coupe, provides the highest horsepower count ever offered at an Audi driver training day, and is combined with expert insight into the key aspects of safer, more rewarding driving delivered by race and rally-proven instructors.
After honing their skills at Silverstone behind the wheel of performance stars like the RS 4, S5 and TT 3.2 quattro on stage one of the Audi Driving Experience - a pre-requisite - Audi enthusiasts can now progress to the newly launched ‘Advanced’ course, held for the first time at the ultra-modern Rockingham circuit.
This second stage builds on the lessons delivered during the elementary training, which covers everything from cornering and braking techniques to methods for balancing the car to extract the very best from its chassis, but does so at more challenging speeds, and in a line-up of even more exhilarating Audi models including the widely acclaimed, 187mph R8.
Tuition begins on the infield, where the instructors impart knowledge on all aspects of high speed manoeuvring and braking gained through years of top level competition experience. In the afternoon the programme moves to the circuit itself, where guests are given ample lap time behind the wheel of the R8 and the other course cars at gradually increasing speeds, all the while receiving technique tips from the instructor in the ‘pace car’.
TTS and RS 6 on the way
The range of Advanced Driving Experience cars will always incorporate the most exciting members of the ever-broadening Audi range, and in the near future will expand to include the potent V10-powered, 580PS RS 6 Avant and the ultra-responsive, 272PS TTS.
Although it will leave guests in no doubt as to the significant advantages in grip, stability and overall control the quattro all-wheel-drive system holds over more traditional sports car drive configurations, the Advanced Experience is far from just an ‘advert’ for Audi chassis dynamics. The graduated on-circuit training and incident simulation will be invaluable to drivers of all classes of car as a means of preparing for the ‘worst case scenario’ in complete safety, and will also instil a greater respect for, and understanding of, speed and its implications.
Director of Audi UK Jeremy Hicks is a firm believer in the benefits of specialist driver training: “Right across the Audi range our engineers are delivering significant increases in power and performance all the time, and although quattro drive gives many models an invaluable advantage in terms of all-weather control, prevention remains infinitely better than cure. This training is designed not only to ensure that our drivers are equipped with the skills necessary to deploy power as safely as possible on the road, but also to enable them to derive maximum enjoyment from it. I would encourage everyone - enthusiast or not – to take the time to come and learn techniques that one day could prove to be life-savers.”
The full-day Audi Driving Experience can accommodate up to 30 guests each day, and the Advanced Driving Experience up to 24, and both will take place on specific dates through to November of this year. They cost £499 and £599 respectively and are open to all Audi enthusiasts aged over 21 holding a driver’s licence containing no more than eight penalty endorsements. The fee includes breakfast, lunch and break-time refreshments all freshly prepared on site by the Audi Driving Experience chef.
On completion of the Audi Driving Experience course at Silverstone, guests also have the option to progress to the International Audi Driving Experience, featuring circuit-based days in famous locations such as Germany’s challenging Nurburgring Nordschliefe circuit and Spain’s Circuit de Catalunya, as well as winter driving training in Scandinavia.
Audi UK has enjoyed an exceptionally rapid rise to prominence in the premium sector. Since 2000, when just over 43,000 Audi models found homes in the UK, the brand has consistently broken its annual sales records year-on-year, and in 2007 successfully passed the milestone 100,000 sales barrier. It is continuing to perform exceptionally well in a declining market by extending its reach into important new segments with strong offerings such as the A3 Cabriolet, A5, RS 6, Q7 and R8, and by consolidating its presence in its traditional heartland with core models like the all-new A4 and A4 Avant.
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