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Old 04-10-2014, 08:58 AM   #1
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Default A Full House for our Tire Rack Street Survival

Tire Rack Street Survival, in conjunction with the Reno Region of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), held a Teen Survival Driving school at Reno/Stead Airport on March 22, 2014. Thirty students attended, and with both classroom and behind the wheel instruction, they discovered not only the limits of their cars but also what to do to safely regain control once that limit had been breached.

Tire Rack Street Survival Spring 2014 Class

Skid pad – both wet and dry – runs showed them how their cars handled at the limits of adhesion, and their in-car instructors taught them the correct way to recover without over-controlling. Next it was on to an emergency braking zone – once again both wet and dry – so they could feel the car’s brakes in panic stops, and receive instruction in coming to a controlled stop under maximum braking even while turning and on a wet surface.

After more classroom instruction it was back onto the track to run through a slalom course at speed; the object here was to show the students how a car would behave if driven through a series of quick left/right turns, while avoiding hitting any of the cones marking the course. The in-car instructors showed them how to keep the car under control without over-correcting the skids, and as the speeds went up so did the students confidence. Soon they were getting through the slalom at speed while keeping the car under complete control and missing the cones.

Then it was on to the most popular element: the emergency lane change. Going about 40 MPH they approached three different lanes, at the last second their instructor would call out which lane they had to take and they needed to quickly swerve into it to avoid running down a wall of cones. At first there were lots of squealing tires and knocked down cones, but as the students became more self-assured the speedy lane change become almost second nature to them, they learned to quickly avoid whatever would have been in front of them and maneuver the car into a different path without over-correcting or losing.

The final part of the day was combining all the elements into a mini-road course and letting the students take their parents for a few quick laps. By the end of the day there were smiling faces all around, happy parents who felt better about letting the kids hit the roads on their own, and 30 teen drivers who were better prepared for any situation they might face behind the wheel.

The class was able to use Reno-Stead Airport’s new facilities for the classroom with new tables and chairs and lots of open space and great views of the airport. Lunch was inside away from the windy weather and students and instructors were able to sit down and talk with parents a bit before starting up again.

Special thank you to the Reno-Stead Airport for letting us use their conference room and donating a water truck with driver all day to keep the course wet when needed. Thank you to the Santi Hut Company for their donation of the outside facilities, and to Reno Wrecking for donating the air bags for demonstrations.

This Tire Rack Street Survival event had a waiting list and Reno SCCA intends to host another event for these teens in a program this fall.
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