I’d been given a skidpan experience for two people, so I phoned up and booked it in with ATC Driver Training.
I didn’t really know what to expect and when we turned up on the North Weald airfield, in Essex, there was just a lone car doing skids around cones. I’ll be honest and say I didn’t have high hopes at that stage.
When our instructor finished with his previous driver, he invited us to sit in the car and he took us around the track, which was marked out by the cones, by skidding around it. It was quite an experience. He explained the car was on an extra set of wheels, mounted on a cradle and he could lift the normal car wheels off the ground and simulate driving on wet or icy roads.
After the initial drive around I did feel a little bit sick. I don’t generally travel well and also am not good on things that go round and round. But I am a bit of a wuss in this area, so I didn’t say anything and persevered.
My other half had a go first and the instructor talked him through how to control the car in different situations, including how to handle the wheel, the accelerator and also where your eyes should be focused. My other half was quite a natural at this and the instructor asked if he had done this before, which he hadn’t.
Then it was time for the switch. I’ll be honest, I was a little nervous about making a fool of myself (stalling the car or something similarly embarrassing), especially as my other half had been such a natural but the car was easy to drive and I was off.
The instructor spoke about how often he had people who came to him after having accidents to help build confidence. It explained it was quite a serious experience and not just throwing a car around a track. I did really well and managed to control the car in all situations he threw at me. I didn’t hit any cones or throw it off the track. It was really good fun and a really worthwhile experience.
Last year we moved outside of the town into a much more rural area. The roads are very often icy in the winter and we are quite remote so it doesn’t get gritted. This was the perfect experience should we get ourselves into a pickle on the road. The biggest takeaway was drive for the road conditions and not to panic if something happens.
I’d highly recommend this driving experience to people, who knows you may actually save their life one day if they got themselves into a situation where their car was skidding.
Our skidpan experience was 1 hour and 20 minutes in total for the pair of us and a voucher costs £109 per person. You can book the experience directly with ATC driver training too.
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