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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Annual Alfra Romeo Orque Advan Racing School at Fuji Speedway

This year Kasuya-san again invited me to instruct at the racing school he organizes every year at Fuji Speedway. Orque is a tuner for Italian cars, with primary focus on Alfa Romeos. Kasuya-san has been running the company for several years. Prior to that, he was a factory Toyota TOM'S and NISMO driver in various series including JGTC and Le Mans.

Orque Driving School 2009 at Fuji Speedway

We started with basic classroom instruction and immediately followed by hands-on exercises - slalom and braking. Ability to consistently brake at the tires' limit is as basic as it gets and is of course the most important to be able to begin to drive a car at its quickest.

Orque Driving School 2009 at Fuji Speedway

The students had a lot of sessions throughout the day to drive on the short course at Fuji Speedway, and Kasuya-san and I were available to jump into their own cars and have them experience the proper driving techniques and what they feel like directly from the passenger seat. We had many drivers who had zero prior track driving experience, but just like last year, every single student made huge leaps forward in his driving ability by the end of the day. The repetition of driving the student in their own car and then having the student drive it right after is so effective it's astounding. After each outing I would explain what I was doing and why, to specifically accommodate that car's characteristics.

Orque Driving School 2009 at Fuji Speedway

One of the drivers who got his first-ever experience on a race track was in his fifties, but by the end of the day, I would have never guessed that. And of course the joy on everyone's face was just contagious.

It's never too late to start ;-)

Orque Driving School 2009 at Fuji Speedway