A day at the advanced driving school with the Saab Owners' Club of Canada. The event was held at the Shannonville Motosport Park in Ontario. Some of the pictures are kindly provided by Yuri Gudonis. For your viewing pleasure, here's a short video clip with some of my driving and a demo by an instructor (5 minutes, 6 Megabytes).

 

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02.04.2004: The bigger Saabs
Sadly, only one of them will be on the track today. I'd really like to see that black Aero in action.

 

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02.04.2004: Nine Hondas
Of 28 student cars 15 were Hondas, including nine S2000's. Those always stayed together.

 

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02.04.2004: Hondas
How do they tell one car from another? ;)

 

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02.04.2004: Instructors
In the red cap on the left is the school chief, Blake Nancarrow.

 

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02.04.2004: Derek Hanson's class
The classes are useful and entertaining.

 

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02.04.2004: Entering the skidpad
The first group of beginners is lining up.

 

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02.04.2004: In line
A Corvette is getting ready for the braking exercise.

 

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02.04.2004: 400 horses in action
It sure can accelerate fast.

 

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02.04.2004: Vette on the grass
Oops! There's a lot of room for improvement. Not so much room on the skidpad though.

 

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02.04.2004: Take off
A red 900 Turbo is rushing forward.

 

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02.04.2004: 900 braking
All the cones are intact. Good job, Cameron!

 

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02.04.2004: Back to the skidpad
Coming back for another run.

 

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02.04.2004: Cameron
You can tell this guy is happy ;).

 

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02.04.2004: Saab generations
Two elder Saab fans are stopping by to discuss the car and the old times.

 

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02.04.2004: 1992 Saab 900 Turbo
One of the last "true" Swedes produced. I too like the looks of the classic Saabs.

 

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02.04.2004: In line to the skidpad
My Saab is two generations newer. Still, it's already 6 years old.

 

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02.04.2004: 9-3 getting ready
And here's the latest fruit of Trollhatten engineering.

 

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02.04.2004: The second group
There were only three Saabs on the track that day.

 

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02.04.2004: S2000 accelerating
This is the excercise to learn the oversteer and understeer control.

 

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02.04.2004: S2000 doing a 180
The instructor is pulling a handbrake in your car, and you need to recover.

 

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02.04.2004: Balancing out
Cameron is sliding sideways.

 

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02.04.2004: 9-5 speeding up
Then you get to play on your own, combining the braking with steering and throttle inputs.

 

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02.04.2004: 9-5 leaning
I had a chance to apply these skills just 20 minutes after this exercise, when I nearly spun out...

 

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02.04.2004: 9-5 turning
...in that nasty puddle in the corner #14 (the puddle is seen in the video), but I was able to recover.

 

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02.04.2004: 535 taking off
This 8-cylinder 1990 BMW is fast. I had him on my tail for some time on the track...

 

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02.04.2004: 535 skidding
...Being heavy, he couldn't keep up in the corners, but the rate he was gaining on me on the straights was amazing.

 

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02.04.2004: 535 backwards
He just did a 180.

 

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02.04.2004: Ready to go
Corvette looks fast even when it's not moving.

 

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02.04.2004: Slalom exercises
In slalom, you had to navigate between the cones on the slippery road.

 

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02.04.2004: Slalom exercises
These tires must have a lot of grip.

 

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02.04.2004: Skidpad
Skidpad is a round patch of pavement covered with water, which makes it quite slippery.

 

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02.04.2004: S2000 on the skidpad
The plate on this yellow S2000 says "NOTDADDS".

 

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02.04.2004: S2000 on the skidpad
Another S2000. White body, blue top.

 

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02.04.2004: Robin
Rob looks excited. It is his first time with this school.

 

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02.04.2004: Heading out
Driving behind a slow car is awkward, as you tend to follow it and repeat the same mistakes.

 

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02.04.2004: Stuck behind the Honda
Once you overcome that, you can take time to refine corners at low speed.

 

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02.04.2004: About to pass
Finally, his instructor is telling him to let me through.

 

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02.04.2004: In the pit
The track session is over, I'm discussing the mistakes with my instructor.

 

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02.04.2004: Good company
My car is in the good company of an S2000, a Corvette and a Viggen.

 

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02.04.2004: 240Z onto the straight
A 1971 Datsun from the advanced group.

 

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02.04.2004: Integra accelerating
One fast Integra Type R.

 

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02.04.2004: 325 on Nelson 7
A BMW entering the straight.

 

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02.04.2004: The grandstands
You can watch the race from here if the weather is good.

 

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02.04.2004: Washrooms
The most important facility on the track ;).

 

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02.04.2004: 20.1L/100km
The average fuel rate through the day. I can tell it peaked much higher, as I burnt 40 litres of gas.

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