Friday, November 20, 2009

AMG Driving Academy Stage 1 SLS -- part 3

The event was both very exciting and safe as there was always one instructor to every two or three vehicles on the track leading the pack.  These instructors had skills above and beyond anything I can imagine.  The instructors had the ability to lead the pack in a C63 AMG while holding onto the radio in one hand and driving in another.  On top of all of this, they are looking in the rear view mirror giving us pointers.  During this period, the attendees were all in significantly higher performing cars (i.e. the SLS and CLK Black Series) and still not able to catch up.

In the afternoon, when the whole track at Laguna Seca was opened, we were even videotaped in a CLK Black Series driving around the track following an instructor. 

There was so much driving that by early afternoon I proceeded to make myself carsick with all the track time we had.  I wasn't in the mood to take a taxi ride around the track in a SLS with Bernd Maylander, but both my girlfriend and Mario convinced me otherwise.  Honestly, it felt like a 3-minute roller coaster ride.  The ride was both exciting as I got to experience near the limit of what the SLS can handle and terrifying as I thought I was going to die (and I'm pretty sure at certain points on the track I was screaming like a little girl).  

Another very impressive aspect of the event had nothing to do with the cars at all (although they are very impressive on their own).  Both the people that attend this event as well as the people that work for AMG are very welcoming.  I also met reporters such as Matthew K as well as many other individuals I have started cultivating a friendship with. 

Matthew has done a great job making a video summarizing the event:

I would like to add my sincerest gratitude for Mario's hospitality during the AMG Driving Academy. I still can’t stop talking about the SLS with my girlfriend. I was pleasantly surprised by the vehicle and the event that Mario's team put together far exceeded my expectations. I enjoyed how intimate the affair was as well as how much time “seat time” we had in each of the vehicles. Mario and his team went above and beyond to make my girlfriend and I feel like part of the AMG family. Although I have mainly been a Porsche guy in the past, they now have a loyal future AMG owner for life.

Of course, all the excitement from the event also cause me to be "motion sick" for the next two days, which is why I wasn't able to write about it until today.  You may also want to check out my girlfriend's post about the event.  She's a much more eloquent write than I am.

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