As the proud owner of a 2002 Mercury Grand Marquis, I can assure you that there are few experiences as exhilarating (and mildly terrifying) as piloting Ford’s legendary Panther Platform through a raging blizzard. For those who might be seeking the same level of thrill, albeit in a more controlled environment, the drift-tacular Team O’Neil Rally School of Dalton, New Hampshire, should be on the top of your list—and a recent video from Wired highlights some of the awesome skills you could be learning.
Former professional rally car driver Wyatt Knox is the school’s Special Projects Director, and is tasked with providing students what they call “tactical mobility” training. While it might just look like a bunch of sliding around in the snow to the uninitiated, the techniques taught are geared specifically for use by military and government agents across the globe, providing users with excellent car control, the ability to handle vehicles at the limit, and the tools to respond to a number of hostile driving situations.
Team O’Neil employs America’s favorite rear-wheel-drive police cruiser, the Ford Crown Victoria, to slide, spin, and smash around their wintery mobility course. Students are taught how to J-turn, PIT maneuver, high-speed reverse, breach barricades, and handle “driver down” scenarios. Following that, the class explores all-wheel-drive techniques from behind the wheel of Subaru rally cars such as controlled slides, left-foot-braking, and the Scandanavian flick.
Are these the type of driving skills that you’ll be using on a daily basis? Unless you live in some sort of active combat zone, the chances of that are unlikely. They are, however, sure to make you an overall more competent driver, no matter the situation you’re put in. Plus, who doesn’t want to slide around a Crown Vic in the snow?
Would you check out this rad rally school if given the opportunity? What techniques would be most excited to learn? Let us know in the Hagerty Forums below.