August’s MG Car Club Defensive Driver Training Day

MG Car Club Sydney held a defensive driver training day in conjunction with HART, the Honda Australia Rider Training Centre, on Sunday the 11th of August.

We arrived at HART in St Ives shortly after 7am to find the HART driving instructors lined up to greet us and to receive their briefing for the day. The forecast for the Sunday looked like an improvement on the Antarctic cold spell that had brought snowfall to Alpine regions and Southern Highlands during the preceding week, but it was still plenty chilly.

Charlie Frew, Stephen Perry and I had worked with Paul Green, Senior Driving Instructor and Corporate Event Co-ordinator at HART to set up the format for the driver training day. To ensure sufficient numbers for the event, invitations were also sent out to the Jaguar, Sprite, Lotus and Triumph car clubs. We ended up with about 50 people registering.

The day was enriched by having the MGCC MGB Sebring on display and driven during each defensive driver session by selected indemnified MGCC drivers.

The format for the event was two two hour sessions: 8am to 12 noon and 1pm to 5pm. During each session the group was divided into experienced and less experienced drivers. In fact the morning session saw nine pre-L-plate drivers occupying the upper circuit with experienced HART driver trainers giving the young members useful preparation for their future L-plate journey.

Meanwhile, the experienced drivers who had enrolled for the morning session were led to the lower half of the circuit to focus on correct seat adjustment, emergency braking, controlled swerving and reversing practice under the guidance of advanced driving instructors.

The afternoon session saw current L-plate drivers heading out onto the public roads with HART driving instructors for a targeted lesson. These hours, and experience, contributing handsomely to their logbook hours.

At the same time the experienced drivers who had signed up for the afternoon session headed off to the circuit to develop their driving skills following the format from the morning.

It was good to see everyone getting in to the spirit of the event despite the cool weather. A BBQ lunch was organised by Charlie Frew and Steve Perry. This allowed the drivers coming off the morning sessions to mingle with the drivers who had just arrived for the afternoon sessions.

Many thanks to those of the HART Centre, to all those that enrolled to the event as well as Don Beck, Peter Rose, John Boss and Ingo Weinberger who turned up to help on the day. Thanks also to Seth Reinhardt and Ingo for taking photos of the event for Opposite Lock and Elizabeth Sutherland and Adam Burgess for their  BBQ skills.

Oh, and at the end of each session, we were invited to follow Paul Gray on a spirited few laps of the driver training track.. that certainly added to the total enjoyment of the day!

Alan Hertiage

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