Day one is finished. So far, so good. There was wheel spin, sliding, and mud.

The morning started off pretty simply. We had a classroom session talking about left foot braking, vehicle dynamics, and weight transfer.

Once that was done we went out to the skid pad. The four students were split between two manual Fiestas (~100 HP). They were The first exercise was to go around in 2nd gear, wheel at 180°, full throttle, and rotate the car with just the brake. I thought this was a good intro to sliding with the brake.

Next we hit the slalom, taking turns driving for about two hours. The instructors were trying to get us to turn as little as possible while using the brake to do most of the turning. Approaching a cone, we would turn in, roll on the brake, and stay flat on the throttle. Once the car was almost facing the right way, we would center the wheel then finally get off the brake. The hardest part for me was separating my inputs. If I hit the brake as I turned, I would under steer. Also, if I centered the wheel and got off the brake at the same time, I would under steer.

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After lunch, we got a lesson about late apexing and went back out to the slalom. They put cones on the outside of the turns for us to look at. After a few runs I was starting to look ahead and get the car to rotate like I wanted.

The last exercise was accident avoidance. This involved threshold braking up to a line of cones and having the instructor tell us which way to go. I found the braking easy since the grip was good. The side movement was good to see how upset the car got by all the sudden inputs.

To wrap up the day, we got a tour of their shop and some technical details about how rally cars are put together. This was great and gave me great ideas for what to do with my e36.

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Looking forward to day 2! I think we will be doing Scandinavian flicks.

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