Practising skids with a Lotus Exige: My Skidpan experience

An opportunity to understand and realise how it feels to be in a scenario with negligible traction, and steps you can take as a driver to bring the vehicle under control.

BHPian benbsb29 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

What to expect?

Chance to drive around in a Lotus Exige on a skidpan track, with 1 on 1 instructor guidance.

Duration of event:

4 hours, with about 5 folks taking laps in each car

Safety considerations?

Being a skidpan event, the focus is on initiating and controlling a slide on a prepared slippery surface, therefore speeds aren’t high. Also, with a car like the Lotus Exige with a really low Center of Gravity, the chance of toppling it is… let’s say minuscule.

Pre-Requisites:

Anyone holding a current Australian Driver’s licence and has experience with a manual gearbox. For convenience reasons, despite having driven manual cars all my life in India I only hold an automatic transmission licence here in Australia.

Checked beforehand with Paul who organises the event, who confirmed as long as my licence is current and I have experience with a manual, that’s more than enough.

Teaser Pics:

A few years ago, my wife gifted me a RedBalloon adventures gift voucher (RedBalloon Adventures), which I was unable to use over the last 2-3 years as most experiences were put on the backburner owing to Covid regulations and various other factors. When I checked, the expiry date neared, and I quickly got down to finding an experience which would do justice. It had to be something unique, as I’ve realised life is about new experiences and not sticking to the boring template.

Finalised on the following:

Skid Pan Driver Training In A Lotus, which was to be held at the RACQ Mobility Centre skidpan track – Mt Cotton.

I did the booking about 2 months prior as these tend to book out really quick. Once done, I embarked on the difficult task of waiting for D-Day.

On D-Day, I am to arrive at the venue by 8 AM, for an 8:30 AM start. We wait at the gates outside to be escorted by the organisers to the track. I requested my family to come along and watch me either make a fool of myself in public or else impress with hitherto unknown-to-myself skills.

There are 2 Lotus Exiges available today for those who have signed up for this package, and for those that only opted for the skidpan experience in their own cars, they would be taken around the track by the instructors so they can learn the basics of skid control using their cars. There were 2 such participants who brought their own cars – a Volkswagen Golf GTi with a L plated driver, and a Nissan 350Z. The GTi was an FWD car, while the Z is RWD. Would be fun to see these on track.

A view of the skidpan track

The instructors – Paul and Graham quickly take us on a quick briefing and this is followed by Paul doing a demo lap on the track to show what we are here for.

Check out BHPian benbsb29’s skidpan experience for more insights and information.

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