The author with his 2010 Mazda3 Sport GT test car. Click image to enlarge
Driving school lets drivers test their cars’ limits, and their own limits
Article and photos by Haney Louka
Winnipeg, Manitoba – As automotive journalists, we have the privilege of driving a full range of production vehicles throughout the year. In the past year my driveway has been home to everything from a pedestrian but value-packed Toyota Corolla to a ridiculously excessive Porsche Cayenne Turbo S.
The streets of Winnipeg, while far from ideal, work well for the purposes of evaluating many of our test-drive subjects because they exist in the ‘real world’ where new-car shoppers also happen to navigate day-in and day-out. But with many of today’s high-performance cars, any legal speed limit is history in about two breaths. The true fun lies beyond, but venturing there on public roads means accepting the potential financial consequences of being nabbed for traffic offences, not to mention the more serious risk of having a collision.
So track testing is also important, not only to give us important insight into how cars might accelerate, handle and brake in emergency situations, but also for the thrill of driving them in such a manner.
The vast majority of my track testing is done each October at the Car of the Year “TestFest” put on by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. But little did I know that such an opportunity exists in my own back yard, all summer long, for anyone who is up to the challenge.
Enter the Winnipeg Sports Car Club, an organization that was founded in 1952, meaning it’s been around longer than any other car club in Manitoba. Even though I’ve met a few WSCC members in recent years, last weekend was the first peek I’ve had into what this club is all about. And this much I can tell you: I can’t believe what I’ve been missing all this time.