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Published 29 March 2011

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Mini Drivers - Manually challenging

Peter Bowles takes on Mission 2 for Goodwood MINI Drivers

For Peter’s third session on the track he took on Mission Two in a manual MINI One. Having impressed the instructors so much with his skills in an automatic MINI in Mission One he was fast tracked to Mission Four and learnt how to use a manual gear box. Peter continued to build on his knowledge and confidence for Mission Two on a chilly March spring afternoon, and tells us below about his experience.

“I was fortunate to be at Goodwood for my third driving mission (Mission Two) on a truly beautiful March afternoon, the weather was somewhat better than the bleak grey morning in February for my last one!

Mission Two introduces necessary driving skills that are essential to both passing your driving test and to competent and safe driving in general. The main theme of this mission is ‘Preparation and Vision’; this basically means general observation around the car, checking your mirrors and blind spot before moving off and making sure that you’re not going to cause a crash when you start moving. MINI Drivers is not just about being behind the wheel - I also learnt the basics of car maintenance, for example the importance of checking the oil and other key factors that affect the running of a car to be found under the bonnet.

After a gap of about four weeks between missions I was slightly worried that all of the seemingly complicated rules about clutch control would have been forgotten, however, that was luckily not the case. Thankfully there was a small recap on what I had learnt previously just to make sure that I hadn’t actually forgotten anything.

After an introduction to the concept of the ‘Mirror Signal Manoeuvre Rule’, we were out on the track to get to grips with the concept of reversing, not just in straight lines but also around corners too. I must admit that the pressure of not grazing the near side door panels against the safety barrier of the famous Goodwood Chicane did make me a bit nervous. But with some very good teaching from my very kind and patient instructor (and maybe a small amount of luck) I managed the task without scraping the paint away from the MINI’s side. 

Once again, I found my MINI Drivers experience a challenge, albeit an enjoyable one. The instructors are invariably kind, patient and good fun to spend your mission with. I know I have said it before but I cannot express enough what a fantastic opportunity this is for anyone who is even remotely interested in the prospect of driving!”

We look forward to Peter’s next instalment after 15 May in what will be Mission Three and his fourth session on the track.

There are some new dates now available for MINI Drivers @ Goodwood:

17th -18 April

15 May

26 June

10 July

3 August

10 August

17 August

21 August

22 August

31 August

9 October

20 November

For more information about availability and gift vouchers please call 01243 755060.

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