Last Tuesday I got up at 5am to drive my little Jetta to Bowmanville’s Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (aka Mosport) for the 2013 Cadillac Driver Academy, something a friend from Gearheads.org recommended to me last month. I am making sure we’re choosing the right compressor so we can fill the tires on the go and don’t have to worry about it. This was an experience of a lifetime and perfect for this girl that LOVES cars. I was selected for this awesome Perk courtesy of Klout and I have to say it was the best Perk I’ve received yet!
The Drivers Academy is put on by Cadillac for owners and this year a lucky few Klout peeps were invited to attend. On my way to the track I was passed by one of the Cadillac owners, and it was hard not to speed up and follow them!
I arrived at 745am, got registered and went up to the clubhouse for breakfast. I sat my butt in the very front row, and happened to sit beside some other Klout-ers (hi guys!). At 9:00am we did Classroom Chalk Talk and learned about our day, the team and our cars.
It was cool to be a Klout-er with all of the seasoned Cadillac owners. There were some pretty souped up cars at the track that day and man were they loud!
I was partnered up with Paul Haber in ATS #07 and after the Classroom Chalk Talk we headed down to the track to meet our partners & get into our cars.
The morning was made up of Skill Development exercises to prepare us for the afternoon on the racetrack! Skill exercises included lead and follow, accident avoidance, acceleration & braking and slalom exercises.
It was super fun to be the driver and though I was a little hesitant at first I got the hang of it in the end. When my partner drove it was a little scary (not because of his driving, just being the passenger and doing crazy exercises) and it was really fun.
I was starving after our morning skills excercises and at 1210 we headed back up to the lodge for lunch. Though I filled out my form stating I was a vegetarian (they asked about dietary restrictions) it was a meat-a-holic lunch. Steak, Sausage & chicken with a green salad & buns. I’m kinda complaining but only because salad and a bun is really not enough when you’re burning all your energy on an adrenaline filled day.
Lunch was pretty fun though because I got to see the awesome Elissa and met her co-driver Jodi Jenn . At 1:00pm we were heading back down to the track for an afternoon of advanced driving excercises – autocross, skid pad and hot lapping.
Another cool thing about the day is that there was a film crew following the Klout group around and we got interviewed for a Cadillac video. Can’t wait to see the results!
The afternoon was pretty awesome but really scary. We got our hairnets & helmets on to do hot laps around the course with one of the trainers (aka pro racecar drivers). Then we got the chance to drive the track ourselves! I really liked driving myself, but to be in the back of the car, going 200K+ on a track, with my partner driving was very scary. Again, not that he’s a bad driver, just that he wasn’t a pro racecar driver.
Timing was tight due to the filming so I only got the chance to drive the track a few times, but it was enough for me.
At the end of the day they gave us a pretty cool parting gift – a photo of us, in car #07 driving around the track, a cadillac golf shirt, Cadillac hat, water bottle & business card holder.
I absolutely LOVED the Cadillac Driver Academy and it refreshed a lot of the driving techniques I learned when I was younger. Driving home at the end of the day it was a little hard to keep doing the speed limit, but I made it safe and sound back to the city.
A big thanks to the GM/Cadillac team, the MacLaren team (especially Andrew Kavanaugh) and to Klout for giving me the experience. I can’t wait for the next car related event!