Renowned motorsport competitors at the highest levels of the sport and exceptional instructors, these motorsport professionals are ready to impart their vast knowledge to Audi driving experience participants.
6 August, 2019
For those who follow motorsport, the line-up of Audi driving experience instructors is a veritable Who’s Who of Australian (okay, and New Zealand) motorsport royalty. Some of the finest drivers in the country, across a huge range of racing categories, imparting their encyclopaedic knowledge of car control, high-performance driving and race craft to those participating in an Audi driving experience (ADE) event.
Even those participants who perhaps don’t keep up-to-date with the world world of motorsport immediately recognise that the instructors putting them through their paces and helping them reach their respective motoring goals are definitely something out of the ordinary.
The ADE instructors’ roster, led by Audi Chief driving instructor, Steve Pizzati, includes over 100 Bathurst 1000 starts and no less than 14 Australian National titles. They are celebrated drivers who have raced all over the country and the world, in every category including V8 Supercars, GT3, TCR, open wheelers and rally. Consummate professionals whose talent and successes on the race tracks are matched only by their ability to share that knowledge and help participants to reach levels of skill and motoring enjoyment they wouldn’t have believed possible.
Of course it stands to reason that given the nature of the ADE programs, only the best in terms of instructors will do. With courses ranging from advanced right through to the Audi racing experience and Audi ice driving experience, only the most experienced and best trained instructors are able to provide customers with highest levels of tuition necessary to further their ‘automotive education’.
Steve Pizzati, an engineer, automotive expert and race driver himself, is also a perfectionist who insists on not only providing participants with the absolute highest levels of tuition, but in the safest and most enjoyable environment possible.
“When people are enjoying themselves and recognise they are in good hands, their progress grows exponentially,” says Pizzati who first started as an Audi instructor in 1999.
With enthusiasm that is infectious, Pizzati steers the ship which includes regular trips to Germany and Austria with his instructors to keep completely up-to-date with the Audi product and teaching techniques, but also hosting Australian participants on ADE trips to the Audi ice driving schools in Seefeld, Austria, and the frozen lakes of Sweden for intensive ice driver training.
The Audi range of cars used in the different programs too, demand respect and the right approach. With Audi S and RS cars used right from the start, it’s important the instructors have the right approach and experience to help customers get the most out of the cars and out of themselves.
It’s a formidable line-up to say the least. With names like Bathurst winner Luke Youlden, V8 Supercar and GT driver, Dean Canto and Steve Johnson (son of motorsport royalty, Dick Johnson) whose career includes V8 Supercars, Carrera Cup and Touring Car Masters – motorsport fans will need to pinch themselves.
Then there’s Nathan Pretty – think Bathurst 24 Hour winner, Touring Car driver, Melinda Price, Garnett Patterson (LMP3 / Asian Le Mans), Chris Pither (multiple NZ title holder, V8 Supercars and TCR Australia) and fellow Kiwi, Daniel Gaunt (Australian GT Championship, V8 Supercars and A1 Grand Prix) and the it’s obviously an embarrassment of riches. Also part of the ADE roster is current V8 Supercar driver and TCR campaigner, Tony D’Alberto, rally ace Dean Herrage and another Kiwi, Dan Gilleson whose CV includes GT3 and the sheer depth of experience is obvious.
“We all have what can only be described as a great passion for driving and competing,” says Pizzati. “Sharing that knowledge and seeing people progress and reach levels they perhaps hadn’t considered or didn’t think they were capable of is immensely satisfying.”
It’s certainly a potent recipe. Award-winning, high-performance cars, the country’s leading motorsport facilities and the very best driving instructors in the business. And it is this combination that is why the Audi driving experience is considered the benchmark and continues to thrill all who get in, buckle up and test the limits with the ADE.
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