I have to admit, being part of the “media” can have its perks. And when it involves Ford, Colby and I typically have one heckuva great time! Last Friday was no exception. The Ford EcoBoost Challenge proved to be much more than what we expected. One of my most memorable parts was learning driving tips from a professional driver.
That’s right! A professional DRIFT driver. And a woman at that! We were not only able to get instruction from Tania Gladiuk, but she also jumped in the car with me and took me around the closed course. Several times. Oh my goodness! I was beyond thrilled. She was squealing tires and getting a little sideways through the curves. But, the things I noticed as we drove?
Her posture. Her hands moving across the wheel. The way she handled the car with ease. It was remarkable.
Fortunately, she did not mind sharing a few tips and tricks with us… that I can pass on to you.
4 Tips from a Professional Driver
- Smoothness = Speed. As simple as it sounds. I literally chanted it to myself as I drove through the course. And it worked
- Slow in, Fast out. Another easy one… enter slowly into the turns and accelerate out quickly. Imagine there is a string tied between your right foot and right arm. When you turn the wheel, that string then pulls your foot off the gas. When you straighten it back out, your foot then pushes the accelerator back down.
- Don’t grip the wheel, hold it lightly at 9 and 3. Yes, 9 and 3.
- Proper sitting position and distance from the steering wheel should leave your arms in a bent position. Her visual for us: imagine you are carrying a tray with drinks. Where would you hold that try? How would you hold it? That is where your arms should be in front of you.
After riding and learning for a few laps, I got back behind the wheel. I went around a few times when Tania walked back out to the car. She turned off the traction control feature and told me to try one more lap. She said I was familiar enough with both the track and the car so she was confident I could do better. I ended up shaving 5 seconds off my lap time! Not bad if I do say so myself. And, I know catch myself remembering and utilizing the tips she gave me.
Ford EcoBoost Challenge
The Ford EcoBoost Challenge invites consumers to come out and test drive Ford’s fuel efficient EcoBoost vehicle line-up. You actually get to drive a fuel efficient Ford back-to-back against a comparable competitor. The differences in the two is crazy!
I drove the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V back to back. The Escape had a steady acceleration and smooth braking. The electronic steering was easy to handle and very responsive to my directions. The CR-V was choppy on accelerating and the brakes caught a bit when had braking. Also, after driving the course with evasive lane changes and winding roads, I felt as though I had just finished a tough arm workout. The difference in the steering as very apparent.
The cool part is that you really do not have to take my word for it. Take the EcoBoost Challenge and see for yourself!
What is your best driving tip to share with others?
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