Polar position: honing skills and having fun at arctic training
Mercedes-AMG GmbH will once again be offering a unique range of customer driving events on ice and snow during the coming winter: the AMG Winter-Sporting event, which will take place in Arjeplog (Sweden), combines high-quality driver training with a taste of the traditional lifestyle of this region close to the polar circle. The aim of the event, which is run by professional instructors using the latest teaching methods, is to give partici-pants the skills they need to control their vehicles perfectly.
The increasingly popular AMG Winter-Sporting event takes place on eight occa-sions between January and March 2007. The 24 participants in each four-day training session have the use of three different AMG high-performance models: the CLK 63 AMG, the SLK 55 AMG and the C 55 AMG. All the vehicles are equipped with special studded tyres which ensure a certain degree of grip on the ice tracks. ESP is deactivated in all the training cars in order to allow partici-pants to practice controlling the vehicles at the limit of their handling capabilities.
All driving during the four-day sessions takes place on ice; specially prepared tracks on a frozen lake provide ideal conditions. As ambitious as it is thorough, the programme of events comprises an introductory training section, which gives a grounding in the basic principles of driving on slippery surfaces by providing an opportunity to practice techniques such as slalom and avoidance manoeuvres. The subsequent three-part intermediate training allows participants to develop their vehicle control skills to an even higher standard: they start with training on individual sections of a handling course which corresponds to the short track at the Hockenheimring before graduating to full circuits of the course. The drivers practise drifting a skill which is a prerequisite for safe, optimum vehicle control on slippery surfaces on curves with a diameter of up to 150 metres. In this way, the participants can gradually feel their way towards the handling limit in a safe driving environment; at the same time, AMG Winter-Sporting also sets out to deliver the highest possible degree of driving pleasure.
Latest training methods with data recording
During many of the driving exercises, the AMG specialists use data recording to support the training activity: this technology, which is familiar from the world of motorsport, makes it possible to log not only sector and lap times, but also longitudinal and lateral acceleration. All training activities are handled by professional instructors with experience of motorsport who provide the participants with the necessary feedback and use appropriate analysis methods to ensure a successful learning experience.
The AMG Winter-Sporting event ends with the AMG Challenge, a competition in which all 24 participants demonstrate the driving skills they have learnt in selected disciplines. The top performers are honoured on the occasion of the “Tradi-tional Evening”, during which culinary specialities from Northern Sweden are enjoyed around an open fire in a traditional Lappish wooden tepee. The other accompanying events are of the same high standard as the training: a particularly dynamic highlight for the participants is the night drive (as passengers) in the AMG Ice Taxi, a specially prepared C 55 AMG. This 270-kW/367-hp saloon has special studded tyres which are also to be found on the FIA World Rally cars in the Swedish Rally. An experienced instructor at the wheel offers an unforgettable insight into driving dynamics on slippery surfaces. A cocktail evening in an igloo and a snowmobile safari in the dark give the participants a feel for some of the characteristic features of the region and round off the four-day event.
2007 AMG Winter-Sporting already fully booked
The full price of the AMG Winter-Sporting event including VAT is 3390 per participant and includes a direct flight from Stuttgart, Munich, Frankfurt-Hahn, Hanover or Paris, as well as all transfers, accommodation in the Hotel Silverhatten in Arjeplog and meals. All car enthusiasts are welcome to participate, whether they are AMG customers or not.
Unfortunately, as a result of the high level of demand, the 2007 AMG Winter-Sporting sessions are already fully booked. But Mercedes-AMG offers many different driver training programmes throughout the year. Held on racing circuits and test tracks, these courses allow discerning drivers to improve their vehicle control skills. The schedule for the 2007 summer season and the 2008 AMG Winter-Sporting will be available from January 2007. Anyone interested in participating can find the latest information on the Internet at www.mercedes-amg.com or can contact the hotline of the AMG Driving Academy by phone on +49 (0) 7144 302-575.
Arjeplog the auto industry’s test centre
Arjeplog in Swedish Lapland is a global test centre for the automotive industry. Its proximity to the Arctic Circle results in consistently low winter temperatures which make it possible to prepare test tracks on frozen lakes or rivers. The layer of ice is often up to 80 centimetres thick and thus ensures a safe basis for AMG Winter-Sporting.