Do you pay attention to your Klout score? If you are looking for some off the hook “perks” make sure you have a decent Klout score. My Klout Score is in the low 60’s, fluctuating between 60 and 62, which is not bad. In early June I received what has been my best Klout perk yet, I’ve received 6 so far since last fall when I signed up for them.
I was invited to attend the first ever Chevrolet Sonic Stunt School at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (or as I still referred to it as, Mosport). At this Stunt driving school I would learn some jaw dropping stunts and how to handle the car on a track. Plus I would get a Chevrolet Sonic RS Turbo for an extended test drive. As a lifelong car buff, this was an amazing perk to receive. Plus I’ve always had a “thing” for speed, so this Klout perk of a day at Sonic Stunt School was right up my alley.
I gladly used up a vacation day and signed up. Right from the start I knew I was in for an amazing time when on the registration form in addition to asking the standard name, address and drivers licence questions they wanted to know my “Depends” size.
They may have referred to this as a “perk” but it was in fact a number of perks all rolled into one. Before the day I received a box with some swag in it. The first item I pulled out was a messenger bag made from an actual 2012 Chevrolet billboard ad. Inside the heavy duty bag I found Fuji water, a water bottle emblazoned with the Chevrolet name and familiar bow tie, a rubber Klout bracelet, sticker and a K + button. Also some sort of energy food I’d never heard of – CLIF SHOT BLOKS. The bag has come in handy as my knapsack is shot!
Chevrolet Sonic Stunt School
On the morning of Stunt School we were picked up at Air Canada Square in a limo/party bus. As we hit the road for Mosp … Canadian Tire Motorsports Park we were served breakfast! My fellow participants were influencers in marketing, public relations and bloggers. We also had some of the camera crew with us.
The trip up the DVP was slow but we eventually made it out to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. When we disembarked we were greeted by another camera crew and then given our electric blue shirts. I’ll give kudos to Chevrolet Canada, they certainly treated us well at this event.
After a briefing by the drivers and instructors who would put us behind the wheel and teach us the rudiments of stunt driving it was time for the first event.
The first event was the stunt I most wanted to learn, the Park and Slide maneuver. This is where you get the Sonic up to 35 Kph and after a quick left – right swerve quickly steer into the space while hauling up on the handbrake. Done correctly, yanking that handbrake and steering into the space should result in a perfectly parallel parked car. It took me five attempts, but on the last one as I slid into the spot on the wet pavement, I splashed one of the camera crew (turns out it was a RED, yikes!). No harm was done to the camera or crew, but apparently it was an awesome shot!
The J-Turn was next. For the J-turn, you drive the car in reverse until it hits around 35 KPh and then you suddenly throw the steering wheel all the way to the left. This causes a 180 degree turn while the car is in motion. Then you have to transfer from reverse to second smoothly and carry on in the opposite direction from where you came from.
I nailed it the first attempt! The proof as they say is in the pudding. Thanks to @JessGrossman for the Vine embedded below which shows me getting it right the first time. Boooyah!
Next up on our crammed schedule was to learn how to race an autocross. We were given helmets and heart rate monitors to track our reaction to the course. To give us a “feel” for the road we first sat shotgun with an experienced driver who pushed my Sonic up over 130 kmh through a mini autocross that was loaded with bends, turns and straight-a-ways. To top it off, these pros were driving tightly together which did nothing but boost my heart beat. (I hit 125 BPM at one point.)
Now it was my turn. I ran the course and the instructor barked out commands on when and where to speed-up, brake, downshift, and aim for the cones. (I found out AFTER that an autocross is like a slalom course).
Then it was time for the final run, a timed challenge. It was adrenaline pounding, tense and fun, driving around that track at speeds I would never normally approach on such tight curves.
After everyone had finished their laps it was time for a barbecue complete with chicken, steak, and a variety of salads. It was great to compare notes on what we experienced. I also got to talk to some of the GM Social Media people. This was my second GM Klout perk, last fall I had a Buick Verano for three days. As for the Chevrolet Sonic RS. The consensus of my group of influencers was it was it handled well under the circumstances and was a fun car to drive.
We were also given our scheduled test drive times. I was very fortunate to get it over the long weekend.
All in all as I have said to many of my friends, it was the best day I’ve had as an adult male in a while!
Look out for my upcoming review of the Sonic RS I spent this past weekend getting caught up with Daddy Taxi Duty.
But first, thanks again to Jess Grossman for catching my J turn.