Ford ST Octane Academy
Modern cars are so capable, and our commuting lives so low-impact, that most people will never find the edges of their car’s abilities. The speeds required to push a modern sports car really can’t be found on your favorite back road, so many carmakers now offer driving schools with your purchase. Utah’s Miller Motorsports Park is the current home of the Ford Racing Schools, and they invited us to attend one of the most accessible owners programs in the nation: The Ford ST Octane Academy.
The ST program has a few unique elements, but many of the events are the same as any beginning program. Auto-cross and lead-follow lapping are very common ways to take owners with no experience and crank up their speed and comfort. Paul and I were most impressed with the number of extreme maneuvers we performed at first-gear speeds. The idea of a controlled 180 slide was a new adventure for both of us. Like many muscle memory exercises, the concepts and movements taught at half speed translate into experience and proper instincts when things accelerate.
As we reach more new viewers and listeners we’ve found ourselves talking about track events and autocross more than ever before. There’s a growing contingent in our audience who’ve never driven a car hard, but crave the opportunity. We always encourage new driving experiences, and never get as much track time as we want for ourselves. With this ST Octane Academy film, we hope you get a sense of what you can expect, and what might surprise you. Plus, it allows us to begin covering a series of track driving events and build a progression of skills and experiences to share with all of you.
My obsession with cars came on full-force while behind the wheel of my Nissan 300zx on canyon roads around Los Angeles. But a track requires another level of dedication, focus, and growth, that a blind corner with traffic can never provide safely. Whatever you drive, we encourage you to look into local autocross or track opportunities. And when you arrive, find the fastest person there and have them take you around the course.
As we discovered at the ST Octane Academy, there’s always something to learn.