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Mercedes sets up winter program in Manitoba

AMG Winter Sporting advanced driver training comes to Gimli in 2017

Published: August 8, 2016, 9:55 PM
Updated: December 7, 2016, 5:52 PM

Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy - Kok, a former racer who has been conducting driver training sessions for more than 30 years, is the chief instructor for the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy. One of the academy’s programs is a winter driving school held in several cities across the country. (Check out the website www.mbdrivingacademy.ca for more information.) Kok shares some of his expertise on how to overcome fears of winter driving and be more confident behind the wheel.

Winter driving tips from a pro

The AMG Driving Academy is expanding its signature winter advanced driving program beyond northern Sweden and Gimli, Manitoba is the place to be to experience high-performance AMG models in challenging winter conditions.

Established in 2007, the AMG Driving Academy is one of the most well known advanced driving courses in the world, operating in Europe, North America and China. To this date, the AMG Winter Sporting — its winter program — has been held exclusively in Arjeplog, Sweden (just south of the Arctic Circle) on Lake Hornavan, but starting in winter 2017, the course curriculum will also be offered on Lake Winnipeg, at Gimli.

Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy - Light touch - When dealing with slippery road conditions, it’s important to employ a light touch on the controls, especially when trying to cope with a crisis such as a skidding or sliding vehicle. While instincts may urge more drastic reactions, Kok says it’s critical to resist those tendencies and use slow, gentle inputs to the steering and braking. Being heavy-handed only worsens the loss of traction that caused the skid.

Although not as far north as Arjeplog, the town was chosen by Mercedes-AMG for its frosty winter conditions and also for its Icelandic roots. The course on Lake Winnipeg will be modelled on famous racetracks from around the world, including corners from Canadian race-tracks Canadian Motorsport Park (formerly Mosport) and Mont-Tremblant.

“We are thrilled Mercedes-Benz has chosen Gimli for its winter home and I can assure them that they won't be disappointed with our hospitality,” said Peter Peiluck, Deputy Mayor of Gimli. “We look forward to being able to showcase our community to our new guests. It will be an exciting five weeks around town, I'm sure. Manitobans thrive on events like this – whether it's 35˚C or -35˚C outside. See you all when we can walk on water!”

Winter driving tips from a pro - However, if the situation requires heavy deceleration – a panic stop – then firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal is on order. Doing so engages the vehicle’s ABS system, which will bring the vehicle to a stop while still allowing you to steer around the problem, rather than slide into it.

The unique Canadian AMG Winter Sporting program will be modelled on the AMG Driving Academy curriculum drawn up at the company’s headquarters in Affalterbach, Germany, with input from long-time Mercedes-Benz Canada driver-training partner Driving Unlimited, which became the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy for New Drivers in 2013 and which manages and operates all Mercedes driving programs across Canada.

“For many years, the AMG Driving Academy has been a resounding success story with thousands of AMG customers who have attended its different programs in Canada and around the world,” said JoAnne Caza, Director of Communications and Public Relations for Mercedes-Benz Canada. “We were not entirely surprised when AMG in Germany knocked on our door requesting assistance with this great winter driving opportunity. We look forward to welcoming AMG Winter Sporting participants from all over the world with our friendliness and a memorable, one-of-a-kind program that will provide the best of the worst driving conditions in cold weather.”

Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy

The program will be offered in 3-day (AMG Winter Sporting ADVANCED) and 4-day (ADVANCED PLUS) programs, alternating between January 30 and February 27, 2017. Under the watchful eyes of some of the most qualified driving instructors in the industry, participants will gain valuable winter driving experience with controlled driving safety and dynamics. The programs are made up of theoretical instruction, driving exercises, video analysis, and perfection training, and culminate in a final AMG “Race of Champions.”

Both programs also provide exclusive access to a special onsite AMG lounge. More information is available by emailing info@amgwintersporting.com or by calling (877) 577-6232.