27 March 2014
Day One of the Central Otago Young Driver of the Year competition 2014 has been hailed a huge success by all involved.
Community Road Safety Advisor Jo Robinson, the convener of the event, said the contestants, volunteers and instructors all had a great day.
"Highlands Motorsport Park is an amazing venue and it was a privilege for us to be able to use it," she said. "The participants spent most of their day undertaking various skill tests. It was a pretty amazing day at the office for the competitors and volunteers alike."
Contestants were rotated through five different stations, with each station covering different topics and skill sets.
Mrs Robinson said that the highlight of the day for most participants would have been the track driving completed with qualified driving instructor Graham McNabb of Two Wheels Unlimited, and the vehicle control exercise on the skid pan with Andy Waite of Highlands Motorsport Park and Michael Harrison of the Central Otago Motorsports Club.
"On the skid pan the instructor demonstrated the need for control in wet and slippery conditions and then the competitors were given the opportunity to show their control. On the track, Graham had competitors doing both ABS braking and controlling a vehicle using gears rather than brakes. These tests brought some nerves at the beginning but some huge smiles at the end."
Setting off an airbag, showing the safety modifications to a race car and how tightly race drivers are belted into their vehicles were also part of the learning curve. Other activities for the day included changing a tyre, fitting snow chains, comparing legally and illegally modified vehicles and completing the Police vehicle management skills course.
Day Two of the competition will be held this Sunday 30 March with the winner of the competition being named Young Driver of the Year at the end of that day.