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Stunt Driving School

Alejandro Benes
From the Print Edition:
Armand Assante, Mar/Apr 2008

Everyone gets the same question: "Do you get carsick?" Of course, no one attending Bobby Ore's stunt driving course is going to say "yes." That would mean losing your invitation to ride in the Mustang in the introductory drive into the world of "controlled uncontrollability." Anyway, motion sickness may be the least of your worries on an excursion that pummels you against the inside walls of the car. Bruise easily?

In two days, Ore's stunt driving lessons will teach you how to drive a Ford Escort ZX2 through a slalom course. You'll learn how to do a 180-degree turn by using the "emergency" brake (which these days is really just a weak parking brake), how to do a reverse-180 without using any brakes and how to slide the car into a 90-degree slide and stop it inside a box of orange cones that imitates a parking space. Remember The Blues Brothers?

"Oh my God! It's so much fun, I can't stop smiling," exclaims Christine Brodeur, the only woman student this weekend on the tarmac at Southern California's Camarillo Airport.

At the end of the two-day course, which costs $1,650, your test is to do the stunts consecutively in one run of 59 seconds or less. "The record is 29 seconds," Ore says, with trademark bravado. The record is his. (So is the one for driving a double-decker bus on two wheels: 810 feet.) "If you drive an average of 20 to 25 miles an hour, you'll be able to do it as long as you execute properly."

Even 20 miles an hour feels fast as you're learning these moves. Tires get blown and changed regularly. Ore, who has done stunts in dozens of movies, teaches students how to hold the wheel, where to look, how to use "all available space" and how to let the car work for you. And you thought you knew how to drive.

"You're not gonna be God's gift to driving," Ore explains. "But you will have an advantage. What you learn can be lifesaving."

Visit www.bobbyoresports.com or call 818-880-5678 or 863-655-9292.

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