Fun for everyone and soon everywhere?
If you are a “N-Thusiast” like me, just a normal driver, car lover or a real petrolhead, you maybe have the dream of driving on a racetrack once in your life.
This is where the Hyundai Driving Experience wants to invite you, but do not worry, you do not need to make a new record-time. The racetrack is just one small part of a big event where you first have a driving security training with several parts before you go on the track.
Beneath you can see the official introduction video from Hyundai (Hyundai Deutschland / Germany)
The driving experience was first only available in korea but HMC decided to get the event worldwide so everyone can take part in this events.
Currently there are 4 options to choose from (in Germany):
– E Experience
– N Experience
– Track Experience Level 1
– Track Experience Level 2
The E Experience will give you a great overview over E-mobility and security driving. You will also learn good ways to increase your e-mobility efficency.
The N Experience has the following security points:
– and a cruising with the i30 N near the racetrack
The Track Experience Level 1 includes:
– Under- and oversteering
– Changing lanes (high speed)
– Slalom competition
– Fast laps on the racetrack behind a pace car
The Track Experience Level 2 includes:
– Braking point
– Double lane changes
– Adavanced maneuvering
– Lead on the track
We did the Track Experience Level 1, so everything described will be related to the Level 1 experience.
First of all, since the experience takes more than one day, the driving experience team also organize a hotel for you.
The first day starts with check in at the hotel and a bus trip to the racetrack.
There we got a small introduction from HMC / HMD about the current status of the driving experience and the future goals they want to achieve.
Till Wartenberg (Vice President N Brand Management and Motorsport) said in a video: “The racetrack is not only the best place to max out the potential of our cars, it is additionaly the best place to train the precision of your driving skills to master every situation (even critical) in daily driving.”
After the introduction you take part in a theoretical driving lesson and how to handle situations on the racetrack. Here you learn basic stuff like how to steer correct, drive corners, racing line and physical lessons if your car starts to loose control. Following to the lessons you will get a (fantastic) meal and later back to the hotel.
Day two starts with a good breakfast and around 8 o´clock AM you will meet back at the track. You finish the introduction with a small refresh of the theorethical stuff from the evening and the introduction of your personal coach. Your coach will always be with you and he has direct mobile radio connection inside your car.
Next step, choose your car!
You do not need to drive on the racetrack with your own car. Some of you now would think it is a pretty bad move, but i personaly think it is great since the coach knows that every car has the same abilitys and knows how it handles.
Beside this, you dont need to stress your own brakes, tires and engines 😛
You will then (I choosed a performance blue i30N hatchback) drive to the first security place, in our case it was the agency-turn (j-turn).
The goal is to drive around 40 km/h reverse, give your steering wheel a smal impulse to the left (or right) and then aggressivley countersteer so your car starts to drag against the first impulse and drifts for around 180°. Sounds easier then it is, i personaly needed some turns to get the feeling for countersteer and especialy not to brake. If you brake right inside the drifting action, your car will loose momentum and start to drive a real big corner which would normaly let you hit the crash barrier (we where for sure on a huge, open and wet area).
The second part was highspeed lane changing. The exercise was to change lane in a very small spot at around 100 km/h. This practice gives you a good training for fine but fast steering. You realy need to make a fast and pretty huge steering move to change the lane and not hit some cones, but if you steer to much or to slow you will be outside of the lane. Definetly one of the harder practices (the space where you drive was realy close…)
Third part: Slalom…
We also participate in a slalom competition. The one with the fastest time also had a chance to win a co-drive with Luca Englster (TCR) in the i30 N TCR “race-taxi”.
The last practice was an emergency braking in a corner plus steering to the safe-side of the racetrack. You come outside of highspeed part drive into a corner and then full brake while steering towards the safe side of the corner. The driving speed while it was raining, was around 80-85 km/h.
After all the security practices the weather cleared (thankfully) and we started to follow our instructor to the first round on the racetrack. We drove it very carefully since the “Bilster Berg” has many corners where you have no vision of the upcoming streets. Beside those corners there is one part where you drive a steep corner down the hill with 26% downhill gradient. And after the apex it will start to go uphill with around 22% gradient while finishing in a right corner on the top of it.
The Bilster Berg is very curvy racetrack and this pleases the corner-carving i30 N. Since it is realy hard to describe how much fun driving on a racetrack is generating we want to show you one small round from our friend Daniel. There are some slow parts in it since the instructor waited for following cars.
Finaly “we” all said (it was a roadtrip with four friends), this is a must have event for everyone who has the time for it… Considering all the things you get like: the hotel, full catering on both days, driving the i30N, security practices, very good instructor and driving several rounds on one of the best racetracks in germany (remember that we have a lot of them), the price is unbelievable low. If you want to book the level 1 racetrack experience you need to pay 529 € (around 600$), which sounds big in the first view but is totaly worth it, especially when you compare it to a normal track-day which starts at around 400-450€, but there you need your own car, hotel etc.
We can only hope and whish that HMC will start the Hyundai Driving Experiences around the world in the current speed and with the estimated success.
Because, beside the fun factor and the driving progression we achieved in the days, this experience even will make the daily driving safer and that is something everyone can participate off. Not only you as the driver.
TCR / ETCR
As a small special, Hyundai presented us the upcoming i20 N (no pictures allowed), the i30 N TCR car and the Veloster N ETCR (coming soon) car. We do not want to keep the pictures and videos for ourselfes…