Women’s Performance Driving Day
By Alex Ristanovic
How often is it that the wonderful women of the Viper world sit on the sidelines of performance driving events to support and cheer on the guys? We thought it was time to flip things around and make a day all about the ladies!
We planned a complete women’s-only performance driving event that provided a one-stop-shop for driving a Viper. It had several goals: to teach driving a stick, to get the ladies comfortable in a Viper, and to teach car control. And best of all, it was completely free and even included a free lunch! Ultimately, we figured it would get the ladies involved and they’d see what has the guys hooked … and did it ever! The day came and 25 ladies answered the call.
More than half of the participants had never driven a Viper before. For those needing to learn how to drive a stick (or at least learn on the Viper), a clinic was set up in one of the big lots we retained. One-on-one instruction was on hand to guide them through the learning process. After they were ready, they would take it to the country roads where they had a safe place to practice their shifting. It was amazing how quick everyone learned!
Running simultaneously in an adjacent lot, more advanced skills were taught. This area taught confidence and car control. By creating several separate isolated segments that the girls would drive repeatedly, it allowed everyone to learn in a safe and focused manner. The components included a skid pad, slalom and turning exercises.
Instructors were on hand for all drivers. Within just minutes, each driver began pushing the cars hard. Soon, tires began to screech, a comfort level was reached and the all too familiar grin began to appear on faces! The morning wore on and many of the girls who actually just learned to drive a stick were also beginning their car control sessions too! This was a hit, the girls were having fun and the guys loved watching it! But there was a plan to kick it to the next level …
It was time for lunch, and while everyone was eating, something was taking place in the car control lot. We used additional cones to connect all of the segments that the girls had learned and we created a huge autocross course. The girls were immediately familiar with the course and drove like champs. They couldn’t believe that it was them running a complete course like the guys. As the afternoon wore on a good percentage of the ladies were GREATLY pushing the cars and would easily beat many of our men! There was no fear and some tremendous talent here. The girls were hooked!
There was no mistaking the abilities that were developed in this small period of time. This was truly a success. The vast majority of the girls stated they will definitely do this again and have already begun signing up for autocrosses throughout the season! What a fun way to get everyone in the mix!
Let it be known, that on this day, Pandora’s box has been opened. And to the guys who have big egos, you better check them at the door. The girls are coming … and hell’s coming with ‘em!