Ferrari Classiche Academy: learn driving skills from the 60s in a 70s Ferrari
Autonomous cars are almost here. But they aren't exactly perfect for the real world yet. So, if you were thinking driving is going to be a lost art, it appears we still have more than a couple of decades for that. So, while Elon Musk fixes the software patches in this software-controlled Tesla, you can have a go in learning some of these lost art skills.
Ferrari is currently running the Ferrari Classiche Academy which puts the participant through a series of driving courses while driving classic Ferraris. The idea behind it is two-fold.
First, this helps participants to explore the origins of the Italian based carmaker. Second and more importantly, this helps them gain specific driving skills which were used to drive cars before software updates invaded not just our phones but our vehicles as well.
A driving academy? By Ferrari? Using Ferraris? You must be going mad by now. And to amplify that excitement, the cars getting used for this program comprise of four 308 GTS and GTBi models and a Ferrari Mondial 3.2.
The program will commence with an introduction to the cars as mentioned above. They are then put on a lift to provide an idea of the various components used and its technical characteristics to the participants.
Next, the program comprises of a tour of the Maranello-based company's Classic wing along with its technical archive. Here, the participants can explore the various technical drawings, engineers' notebooks and race reports for GT and racing cars produced from 1947 onwards.
If you're one of the people who's always waiting for the practical classes, you'll enjoy your time at Ferrari's test track. But before heading out to the tarmac, participants will be briefed on the several driving techniques to be used for cars with manual gearbox without electronic assistance, including skills like heel and toe and double clutching.
Once on the track with a Ferrari steering wheel in front, you'll find an instructor will always occupy the passenger seat. But unlike any other passenger who might annoy you by changing the music or distracting you, the one accompanying you on the track will encourage you to drive better.
More importantly, you will need such an expert as the participants will have to drive through diverse conditions like driving in the wet, counter-steering at speed and managing vehicle dynamics.
Even though all this sounds quite exciting and assuming you noticed the Ferrari tag, expect the prices also to be equally hair-raising. Although the first session is currently underway, you can enrol yourself in the second iteration of this two-day event which is said to take place in spring 2020.