Step inside The Forum and the cool factor is turned up another notch, especially for us Audi nuts. It's like you've died and gone to Audi heaven. There's Audi memorabilia, Audi merchandise, Audi parts, Audi brochures, and even Audi TV playing on a sleek white flat-panel display. Once your eyes settle back into your head you're instructed to sign in and are then handed a lanyard with a personalized badge. Very official. I believe there's also coffee, tea, and water if you want it but I was close enough to wetting my pants with excitement and anticipation as it was.
After checking in you are introduced to your instructors for the day, typically numbering between 2 and 4 depending upon the size of the class (number of "students"). On this day we were lucky enough to have a very small class which meant more one-on-one time between students and teachers as well as more track time for us aspiring racecar drivers. Our two instructors were veterans of the motorsports scene, with both past and current experience ranging from Le Mans to Drift. Even after just a few minutes inside theÂ classroom part of the day, I knew that we couldn't have asked for better instructors than both Lonnie and Tony. They immediately made us all feel comfortable and quite confident that we were in good hands. After the introductory classroom discussion and visuals on safety and the basics of high performance driving (which meant pushing these cars much more aggressively than we would typically drive our own) it was time to get behind the wheel of a car.
The first in-car instruction was on a coned slalom course. It was recommended that we use the TTS for this lesson and I must say that it was a fine choice indeed. What a nimble little rocket the car is! Firstly though was getting ourselves properly adjusted within the car - positioning the seats, steering wheel, and seat belt to allow for optimum range of of motion and line of sight. Then came a few slow-speed drive-throughs with the instructors. They pointed out where the turn-in points were located in order to best take the course. They were very good about attending to each individual's skill set and comfort level. Not everyone is used to - or even wants to - push a car to its limits. That personal level of instruction was fantastic and I felt that it went a long way to each of us getting better, faster, and more comfortable with the car. Sure I succeeded in knocking over a cone or two, but that is why the day's program is laid out the way it is. Better to kiss a cone than a wall!