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AMG in Gimli driving world class winter attraction

 Twyla Siple

A couple from Oklahoma joins the Mercedes Benz caravan on frozen Lake Winnipeg for the AMG Winter Sporting program Feb. 2.

A couple from Oklahoma joins the Mercedes Benz caravan on frozen Lake Winnipeg for the AMG Winter Sporting program Feb. 2.

Mercedes Benz is back on the ice of Lake Winnipeg for a second year, until the end of February, teaching winter-based performance driving programs to auto-motive enthusiasts from around the world. 
 
This program lets you drift and speed through challenging winter terrain in three different models: the Mercedes AMG C63, E63 and CLA45, according to chief driving instructor, Danny Kok. 
 
So far the program has had folks come to Gimli from as far away as Mexico and India this year, and Brazil and Europe last year.
In-vehicle exercises outlined on their website are: slalom (with and without its electronic stability program), braking techniques, brake-look-avoid, skid control (understeer and oversteer) and emergency lane changes. 
 
“It’s all about teaching them drifting and sliding in a nice safe, controlled environment with Mercedes and AMG vehicles,” Kok said, “which are of course, high horse powered cars.”
 
The Mercedes-Benz AMG Sport line is best described as more affordable and efficient AMG models, according to loebermotors.com.
 
NFL quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, Russell Wilson, and his girlfriend, R&B sensation Ciara, made headlines after posting photos of themselves on social media joining Mercedes on the first day of the program in Gimli, Jan. 29. 
 
“We generated a fair bit of press…” said Kok. “If you go to Russell Wilson or Ciara’s Instagram, you will see tons of videos, and tons of pictures, so that caused a bit of a stir in Gimli, as you could imagine, when you have one of the top quarter backs in the NFL and a top pop-star attending our events.”
 
Kok said that the program, which ranges from $2995 to $5995, takes care of all the needs of its participants. 
 
“Think of it as an all inclusive vacation,” Kok said. “We cover everything, all their costs, so the entire time they’re there they don’t need to pull their wallet out of their pocket.”
 
The program retrieves its participants from Winnipeg in a shuttle and delivers them to the Lakeview Resort in Gimli, where they spend their days driving on the icy tracks Mercedes created for the different levels of experience.
 
“People always (ask) ‘How does this translate to the street?’” Kok noted, “Well, if you get comfortable doing what we do, if you ever get into a skid on the road, it won’t be the first time you’ve experienced a skid (and) you will be doing the right thing, because you’ve practised it so much.”
 
You get to be on the ice from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with an hour long lunch break. Some of the frozen driving tracks are named after famous Formula 1 racing tracks. They have their Big Circle track, the AMG Arena, Monaco, Barcelona, and the Dynamic course. 
 
This world class driving program began in Sweden, just north of the arctic circle, ten years ago. 
 
“Sweden is a very difficult place to get to for North American customers,” said Kok, “we selected Gimli as our home location for Canada. It just makes it very easy for North American customers to arrive here.”
 
Kok, who makes his home in Vancouver, said that he travels all over the world with Mercedes Benz and takes about 130 to 140 flights per year. He has been a race car driver all of his life and he has made his career out of teaching and driving for over 35 years. He has been with Mercedes for the last 15 years, and yes, he has “a few” Mercedes cars of his own.
 
For more information, contact 1-877-577-6232 or email info@amgwintersporting.com.
 


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