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fice next door, the data recording specialists sit evaluating. Acceleration, braking behavior, engine data, g-forces — everything is measured in minute detail. A camera records the driver. How does he operate within the cabin? How does he steer? Alongside this, a front- facing camera captures the racing line as it is driven. Using these recordings and data, the instructors can give their pupils even more precise feedback. Ultimately, the AMG Driving Academy is really not about everyday life. It has much more to do with situations that you normally don’t experience, extraordinary moments at unique places. “Our events on the racetrack are without a doubt the place where you can best experience the Mercedes-AMG product, the dynamic potential of the vehicles,” says Greuel. “We want people to have fun, to be able to really let loose — but of course only as far as the limits of safety allow.” The instructors keep a keen eye on their teams. Like everywhere in motorsport, there are clear rules and large run-off areas. The safety concept also requires that the drivers approach the next level of their training incrementally. It all starts with the AMG EXPERIENCE. The emphasis of the driving dynamics can be arranged according to preference: from “FUN” to “PERFORMANCE” on up to “DRIFT”. In addition, there are one-day AMG PERFORMANCE Training sessions. Here is where the foundations for the confident mastery of a Mercedes-AMG are laid. AMG ADVANCED-Training takes place over two days on the racetrack. In Imola, Barcelona, Hockenheim or on the Nordschleife, participants receive intense training for their driving skills. At AMG PRO-Training, participants train like a racing driver, testing their various driving techniques and perfecting their own driving style. Finally, at AMG MASTERS, they hit the track in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 — with expert pit crews and a personal instructor. Many participants now book the AMG Driving Academy offerings à la carte, thereby assembling a custom program as far as possible. In doing so, they choose the location, specific content and, in some cases, even certain instructors. Greuel only draws the line at thick — two feet or more — that it would even bear the weight of an airplane. Every morning, the icemakers, as they’re called, move in with heavy equipment and mill tracks and circuits out of the snow once again, giving the icy surface a special tread for increased grip. Perfect conditions for an exceptional experience. “At every one of our events, the customer wants to experience unique automobiles in unique situations,” says Dominik Greuel, Head of Marketing Communications. It’s about performance, the rich engine sound, the acceleration that presses you back into your seat. That’s also why Mercedes- AMG provides only the most powerful and most exclusive vehicles in its fleet at AMG Driving Academy events. But that’s not all. “At our events, the customer should get a feeling for AMG, dive into the world of AMG, become part of the family,” says Greuel. To achieve that, the AMG Driving Academy team has not only the best cars but also the best instructors. Recognizable faces like Bernd Schneider or Bernd Mayländer are there along with many GT3 and Formula racers, DTM and rally drivers — motorsport enthusiasts from head to toe who personify the racing DNA of Mercedes-AMG. During the training sessions, an instructor is out and about with a team of anywhere from four to a maximum of eight participants. Throughout the day, driving techniques are rigorously honed. Even after the sessions are over the instructors remain with their teams; they are the person in charge and first point of contact. At dinner, the experiences of the day are discussed, the choice of racing line analyzed and personal details divulged. Here, car enthusiasts sit together, and it is this closeness, this feeling of community that makes every AMG Driving Academy event so exceptional. The World’s Fastest Family indeed. While the guests recover from the training sessions, behind the scenes the real work is just starting. In the workshop every day after training ends, bumpers are replaced, tires are changed and the oil level is checked. The cars are washed and waxed so that the next day they will be waiting there once again as if they were brand new. In the warm ofprivate races: “Not safe, not our style.” But even without such extravagances, the demand for the AMG Driving Academy training sessions is growing year after year. For the organizers of these events, this is at once a confirmation and a challenge. “We want to grow slowly and steadily,” says Greuel. Because that’s the only way to keep the training sessions and the content at such a high level. After all, the events are supposed to be perfect for each individual participant. If Lapland is too inhospitable for you, or if the racing circuit training saps too much adrenaline, you can also experience the AMG brand in another way through the AMG EMOTION-Tours. The heart of AMG beats in Affalterbach. As part of the AMG EMOTION-Tour SPIRIT OF AMG, guests experience the epicenter of Driving Performance up close. Following a factory tour, a wide variety of Mercedes-AMG models are available for guided excursions lasting several hours — a true pleasure. On exclusive MOTORSPORT tours, the guests travel in provided Mercedes-AMG vehicles to the big races on the world’s legendary racetracks and are close to the action when the start signal goes off. On the LIFESTYLE tours, guests explore picturesque routes to European dream destinations. The AMG EMOTION-Tour “City-Country-River”, for instance, leads from Graz through Carinthia and charming Udine to the Adriatic Coast. As part of the training on the ice in Arjeplog, it’s important to bring this powerful engine under control. With increased confidence, the participants drift around the narrow curves of the circuit, positioning the red Mercedes- AMG GT S ever sharper in relation to the direction of travel. “Stay on the gas, don’t brake,” sounds the instructor’s voice from the radio. It’s necessary to take control for yourself, to turn off the many assistance systems and to master the physics of driving. It is precisely this strong feeling of freedom that makes the AMG Driving Academy unique. A feeling that can be multiplied exponentially because it’s shared with the World’s Fastest Family — which has been growing for ten years. 57


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