How to drive like a boss lady

How to drive like a boss lady


TODAY Madam Wheels heads to Brisbane to drive really fast (she hopes) in the first of a new series of woman-only driving experiences run by Audi. They’re being offered in Sydney and Melbourne, too, but this first one takes place at the Mt Cotton Driver Training Centre, about 45 minutes south-east of the city.

There, participants will have the opportunity to trial a bunch of different Audi’s, ranging through models from A, Q, TT and Performance S cars up to the pinnacle ride from the German marque - in Madam Wheels’ view - the RS models.

'In short, they make you a much better driver - those who’ve done defensive-driving courses often describe them as the best thing they’ve ever done for their driving.'

And under strict instruction, we’ll roll through drills such as fast track lapping (oh, yeah!), a timed high-speed Motorkhana test (bring it on) under- and oversteer correction (ok, important, but ...) along with a high-speed ABS emergency braking test (love!).

Ok, that could be fun, you say, but what’s the point of spending $500 on such a course? In short, they make you a much better driver - those who’ve done defensive-driving courses often describe them as the best thing they’ve ever done for their driving. They offer a unique chance to sharpen reflexes and develop individual skills.

But they also allow women access to driver training in a non-threatening environment while experiencing the vehicles in circumstances very different to those in which they may be accustomed to driving. And you almost invariably meet very cool women during a day that’s designed to both pamper and educate. 

All of this takes place within half a day, beginning with an early-morning interactive briefing with Audi chief driver instructor Steve Pizzati before we hit the track for what’s effectively an advanced skills day. The drills that follow will be designed to put both car and driver in pressure situations - under instructor care - so the driver starts to understand what the car’s technology is capable of and how to make best use of it. I just hope that means we end up in a skid pan (the ultimate fun).

Of course, Audi also wants participants to fall in love with its cars, and that’s not hard to do, as you’ll see from today’s footage when it goes live on this site.

But it’s not just about hard work and concentration. Guests and instructors share a lot of laughs on days like these. Audi ups the enjoyment factor further by arranging massages to release the tension built from the thrill of it all. There are gift bags, too, and a gourmet lunch hosted today by TV personality and Audi ambassador Sandy Sully. 

And who knows? By the end of it we might even be able to park a car like race driver Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky does here. Standby for my report after the event.