Instructing, sean edwards and peoples ignorance
The breaking point into Aremberg were way to late, the poor Clio cup struggles for grip on the wet Tarmac. I counted down the distance to the Armco barrier, thinking My coming weeks would probably be spent on a hospital. Just when all hope was lost, the poor semi-slicks magically found some dry patch and we jumped out of harms way. The driver, oblivious of our apparent demise, just said:
“heh that was a quite quick corner, good thing I have full control”
I silently swore and said, a bit distressed that he could maybe listen to me in the future. He snorted and continued without any control whatsoever.
The racing world lost a star in 2013. The Porsche SuperCup leader and Racer Sean Edwards. He sat next to a driver he was coaching. They crashed and the car caught fire, killing Edwards and seriously injuring the driver.
Instructing, as people now can see, is quite dangerous. I have been instructing on track-days and other track events on Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps and other tracks in Sweden for some years. I love it, but an accident like this give you second thoughts. Sure I have had some close calls but never that I felt like we were about summersault into the forest catching fire in the air.. Yet.
I have a strict code that I use. If I get bad vibes from someone, or don’t feel safe, I get out of the car. What most people don’t realize is that we put our personal health on the line. To help YOU become a better and safer driver. Several customers I have had during my time seems to think that I’m there to confirm their supreme driving skills. Usually, when you hear someone boast about their skills, they are usually quite worthless. Driving fast in a straight line is one thing. Tackling Eau Rouge at maximum attack, is something completely different.
Another thing, as an instructor, there is one word with 3 letters that you never want to hear. Those letters are “GT5”. This so called “simulator” teaches young (and old) drivers that they are the new Stefan Bellof and will undoubtedly break the 7minute barrier in their tuned BMW 5series.
You can’t learn the Nürburgring on a game. Sure, you can learn if it goes to the left or right after a crest. But when you count in all other real life factors, like the g-forces, different grip on different surfaces and all other drivers around you, there is a completely different experience. I know of a man, getting out of his upside down turned car in the forest next to the track mumbling to himself that he could keep full throttle there on the game. Relying on a digital program to learn the ring can sometimes be a deadly mistake.
I have always wondered why men has some weird thing that they just have to show their superior driving skills to the instructor who is there for you and to make you better. Please don’t. On the nürburgring, all people are newbies In the beginning.