Skid Pan Training

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OwenP
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Skid Pan Training

Post by OwenP »

Probably a bit OT as I'm not driving a French car anymore, but I hope no one minds.

Having bought a very different car this time round (406 Estate changed to MR2) I am aware that I have not done any sort of further training since passing my test some 8-9 years ago, the recent weather has heightened this awareness; Taking a very light, (rear)mid engined, rear wheel drive car out in the slush and ice is an experience. Very gentle driving prevented any mishaps, but I'm looking into the idea of something along the lines of some skid pan training to formalise/correct the bits and pieces I've picked up over the years. I was very glad I could work from home on Friday and not have to drive in the 4 inches of snow on my road.

My difficulty is in finding anywhere that offers such things within a sensible distance. I'm currently in Hampshire and so far the best bet I've found is Donington, a little far to go. Silverstone seem offer various courses, but look quite expensive for what they offer.

Any suggestions on where to look please?

evilally
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Re: Skid Pan Training

Post by evilally »

I've had some skid pan training, it was ok. However, I would recommend booking yourself a trackday and include some decent instruction. Overall I've found that far more useful, you want your corrections to become second nature, and you really only get that by putting in wheel time. Not to mention you get to know your own car a lot better and how it behaves at its limits. At the skid pan you'll most likely get some shagged out cavalier to play with, I'm not convinced that would be much like an MR2! Brands Hatch isn't too far from you I would have thought?

OwenP
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Re: Skid Pan Training

Post by OwenP »

I hadn't considered that option. Using my own car would be far better than a knackered banger or a rigged skid car.

Brands Hatch is about 120 miles, so not too far. Looks like they do some quite good options on courses for track driving, and comparatively cheap. Pity the circuits closer to me (Thruxton and Castle Combe) don't seem to offer anything similar.

Will have to do some more investigating along those lines.

addo
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Post by addo »

OwenP wrote:Any suggestions on where to look please?
Don't you have a Tesco's near you? :P

evilally
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Re:

Post by evilally »

addo wrote:
OwenP wrote:Any suggestions on where to look please?
Don't you have a Tesco's near you? :P
Just watch out for kerbs hidden by snow. Weeeeeeeeeee......weeeeeeeee.......*clunk*

addo
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Post by addo »

You could just practice on wet streets:


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myglaren
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Re: Skid Pan Training

Post by myglaren »



Take it to Sweden and go ice driving on a frozen lake.
First time I saw it I was convinced that the whole country was insane - there were around three hundred cars teararsing around this (big) lake.
It does teach them how to deal with ice and snow.

I think our local police headquarters (Aykley Heads, Durham) still let the great unwashed use their skidpan.
May be some constraints, couldn't say but your local police may have a similar scheme.

This isn't a very good example unfortunately.

Better:



With added Oxygene :)

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myglaren
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Re: Re:

Post by myglaren »

evilally wrote:
addo wrote:
OwenP wrote:Any suggestions on where to look please?
Don't you have a Tesco's near you? :P
Just watch out for kerbs hidden by snow. Weeeeeeeeeee......weeeeeeeee.......*clunk*
Saw a lot of that last Friday, skived off to go to B&Q which is accessed up a steepish hill and there are two roundabouts to negotiate and the road is strongly curved.

The amount of cars crashing over the concrete central reservation was unreal.

red_dwarfers
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Re: Skid Pan Training

Post by red_dwarfers »

If you do decide to go down the skid pan route, there's one at the Devon Drivers Centre, Westpoint, Exeter. I went on it a couple of years back, good fun!

handyman
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Re: Skid Pan Training

Post by handyman »

If you cannot get onto a skid pan, try a short rally driving course, that will teach you how to handle a vehicle under all types of adverse conditions.

The training should be about teaching you the skills, not to familiarize how your car handles, you do that in your own time, so it should not matter if the training is in an unfamiliar vehicle. I would reckon a crappy Vauxhall with shot dampers should skid really easily, I once drove a duff Fiat on a pan and that would break away at about 10mph! :shock:

Its a shame that they do not make adverse vehicle handling a part of the VDL training. It would put the sh!t up some of the bad drivers we see on the roads, enough to put them off the idea of driving.

Handyman

andy5
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Re: Skid Pan Training

Post by andy5 »

Castle Combe http://www.drivetechltd.co.uk/skid-pan/ ... ourse.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Goodwood http://www.skidcontrol.co.uk/courses.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Silverstone http://www.silverstone.co.uk/experience ... -control1/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Wroughton (S of Swindon) http://www.actiondrome.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

index http://www.advanced-driving.co.uk/skid-pan-courses/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

OwenP
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Re: Skid Pan Training

Post by OwenP »

I did think about the tesco car park on Saturday, but it was a bit too populated with people cars and assorted curbs, trolley parks and bollards.

Don't think hampshire police do anything with public driver training from the look I had round their website a while back. I'll have a look through some of throught the links, and at rally training as that may be worth pursuing.

I think it is indeed a pity that better training for adverse handling is not included, hence why I'm thinking about rectifying this for myself, albeit prompted by a change of vehicle.

I'd like to think I'm a reasonably good driver (don't we all), but I'm not averse to trying to improve my skills either especially if I find a weakness (perceived or actual.)

Homer
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Re:

Post by Homer »

addo wrote:
OwenP wrote:Any suggestions on where to look please?
Don't you have a Tesco's near you? :P
Not sure when you were last here but the days of skid pan training in a supermarket carpark on a Sunday are long gone.

24hr opening and Sunday trading put an end to one of our most useful training grounds. :(

Northern_Mike

Re: Skid Pan Training

Post by Northern_Mike »

handyman wrote:If you cannot get onto a skid pan, try a short rally driving course, that will teach you how to handle a vehicle under all types of adverse conditions.

The training should be about teaching you the skills, not to familiarize how your car handles, you do that in your own time, so it should not matter if the training is in an unfamiliar vehicle.
I agree wholeheartedly with this. I have done a few track days with instructors. I found it wholly irrelevant to driving on the road. Does being able to hold a Capri 2.8i in a 100mph powerslide have a use on the road? I think not. Having the skills to deal with adverse events and being able to handle a car are not the same thing. I'd recommend 1/2 day or a day on a skidpan, it taught me a great deal.

Hours of instruction on the track didn't stop me binning my MX5 or Xantia on a wet road when they broke away from me. I've been on the skidpan since...

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Xaccers
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Re: Re:

Post by Xaccers »

Homer wrote:
addo wrote:
OwenP wrote:Any suggestions on where to look please?
Don't you have a Tesco's near you? :P
Not sure when you were last here but the days of skid pan training in a supermarket carpark on a Sunday are long gone.

24hr opening and Sunday trading put an end to one of our most useful training grounds. :(
Homebase/B&Q car parks are normally suitable