What’s a Driver Training Day?
Held at the Land Rover Experience Centre at Rockingham Castle, LRO’s Driver Training Days offer an induction into correct off-roading techniques, in a safe environment.
Your day starts with a theory session in a classroom (tea, coffee and biccies are provided – pretty decent coffee too). Then you hop into your Land Rover, and your convoy heads out onto Rockingham’s beautiful off-road course to put the theory into practice, lead by an instructor.
Why not just go to a pay-and-play day instead?
Try this first. At Rockingham there’s a very different atmosphere to a pay and play day, where you tend to be surrounded by tuned V8s being hurled at stuff. Not in an intimidating way, but there’s a definite buzz in the air. By contrast, when I went, Rockingham merely hummed to the gentle tune of a few of diesels gently purring, occasionally scratching for grip on the frozen ground.
And that makes it the ideal environment for learning and practicing good off-roading techniques, which are all about carefulness, smoothness, and listening to the vehicle.
What’s the off-roading like?
Progressing from one obstacle to another, you stop before each one while your instructor explains how to drive it, tailoring his advice to each vehicle. You’ll drive steep climbs and descents (short ones and long ones), deep water, sideslopes and axle twisters.
So what did you learn?
Although I was familiar with most of the techniques, it was still massively useful to have them described and illustrated by instructor Richard. Interesting how a random collection of off-roading facts can become a more useful, systematic body of knowledge, if spelled out clearly. So I learned plenty.
LRO’s Discovery 1 also turned out to be even better off-road than I thought. I became more comfortable tackling longer climbs in higher gears, and got used to driving ‘elephant’s footprints’ – notorious axle twisters that I’d previously avoided where possible.
In the controlled environment of Rockingham, you can afford to experiment a bit more, pushing your comfort zones.
Ok, I'm convinced. How do I book?
Call Vince Cobley on 01536 772238. LRO Driver Training Days cost £50 per vehicle (£65 for two drivers) and need to be booked in advance.
For more adventure ideas, check out LRO's Adventure Club events listing in the back pages of every issue of LRO.