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2012 Mercedes AMG Driving Academy Expands to Five Tracks

Words Jim Davis | February 15, 2012
There are three Mercedes-AMG Driving Academy variants in the U.S. starting in April– BASIC, ADVANCED, and PRO
Words Jim Davis February 15, 2012

For 2012, the AMG Driving Academy has expanded to five tracks, beginning at Palm Beach International Raceway in April.

In the U.S., there are a total of three Mercedes-AMG Driving Academy variants – BASIC, ADVANCED, and PRO.  In BASIC, drivers are introduced to the fundamentals of vehicle dynamics and controlled maneuvers in a one-day track program.  You’ll start off with various focused exercises, including learning the basics of oversteer and understeer, threshold braking, slalom technique, etc., while the second half of the day is spent undertaking high-speed lead/follow exercises on the track.  If it’s you’re first time attending a driving school or you’re new to driving on a closed course, it’s a fantastic introduction to more advanced driving maneuvers that you can utilize both on and off the track.

Once you’ve completed the BASIC program, the AMG Driving Academy progresses to ADVANCED training, which is a more intensive two-day program that takes what you learned in BASIC and applies it in much greater detail to the track.  More focused exercises, high-speed lead/follow lapping and onboard data capture that allows analysis of select aspects of your driving are some of the highlights, and the event concludes with an autocross competition that tests your abilities to read race lines and to apply the other handling techniques you’ve learned in a timed event.  If you’ve attended the BASIC program, one of the past AMG Challenges or a qualified driving school (such as Skip Barber of Bondurant), it’s the ideal next step in taking your driving skills to the next level.

And finally, once you’ve completed both the BASIC and ADVANCED programs, the highest U.S. Mercedes-AMG Driving Academy level is the brand-new PRO program.  In Europe, Mercedes-AMG has been offering a variety of programs including BASIC, ADVANCED, PRO and MASTERS skill levels for the past several years, but this year marked the first time in history a PRO event has been held in the States.  It’s a three-day program held at Road Atlanta, and after building on the skills learned in the BASIC and ADVANCED courses, it’s an event that culminates with timed open lapping on one of the greatest road courses in the country.

Originally founded by the Mercedes-Benz high performance subsidiary AMG in Affalterbach, Germany in 2007, the 2012 AMG Driving Academy offers an opportunity to get behind the wheel of several AMG models including the E63 AMG, SL63 AMG, C63 AMG Coupe, SLK55 AMG and the SLS AMG. The program offers Basic, Advanced, and Pro levels of training.  Under the guidance of top professional instructors, driving enthusiasts experience the excitement of motorsports and the track capabilities of Mercedes-AMG vehicles.

The program features custom-designed exercises that showcase the dynamic driving capabilitlies of Mercedes-AMG models across five premier tracks:

  • Palm Beach International Raceway (Jupiter, FL) – April 12-17
    • A favored testing venue for championship teams offering both high speeds and twisting corners, Palm Beach International Raceway is a track that will constantly challenge even the most experienced drivers.
  • Lime Rock Park (Lime Rock, CT) – May 8-17
    • Few tracks are as well known and loved. This classic 1.53-mile, 7-turn course, nestled in the Berkshire Mountains of northwest Connecticut continues to excite some of the world’s best drivers since 1957.
  • Texas Motor Speedway (Fort Worth, TX) – September 6-9
    • The infield road course has hosted of some of the most exotic machinery in the world, providing drivers a chance to explore the limits of the vehicle….and themselves.
  • Laguna Seca Raceway (Monterey, CA) – September 23-27  & November 8-12
    • Located in one of North America’s best destination locations — the Monterey Peninsula, Laguna Seca features tremendous elevation changes, the famous Corkscrew complex and 2.24 sinewy miles.
  • Auto Club Speedway (Fonatana, CA) – October 23-30
    • The fastest track on the west coast, Auto Club Speedway offers a challenge to drivers of all levels.

The AMG Driving Academy offers three levels:

  • Basic Training ($1,595): A one day program designed to teach the fundamentals of performance driving dynamics and car control maneuvers using customized exercises that emphasize the power and handling capabilities of AMG vehicles.  Drivers will also test their skills on the track at high speeds and during performance course competition.
    • PBIR – April 12-15
    • Lime Rock – May 8, 11-12 & 14
    • Texas – September 6-9
    • Laguna Seca – September 23-24 & Nov. 8-10
    • Auto Club Speedway – October 23-28
  • Advanced Training ($2,995): A two-day program that provides a deep level of technical driver training both on and off the track.  The program picks up where Basic leaves off, offering more track driving to extract a driver’s maximum potential in a performance driving setting.
    • PBIR – April 16-17
    • Lime Rock – May 9-10
    • Auto Club Speedway – October 29-30
    • Laguna Seca – Nov. 11-12
  • Pro Training ($3,695): The pinnacle of the AMG Driving Academy experience in the US. Comprised of three days of intensely focused instruction and technical skills reserved for the highest level of driving, Pro Training allows for maximum speed, challenges and thrills.
    • Lime Rock – May 15-17
    • Laguna Seca – September 25-27

Additional information and registration for the AMG Driving Academy is available at or by phone at 1-877-646-6762.