Sunday, July 27, 2008

Autoblog gets schooled by Alfa Romeo in Italy

Click above for a high-res gallery of our time in the Alfa Romeo driving school.

Let's take a quick vote here. We won't be tabulating the totals, so we'll keep this unofficial, but we want you to be honest. How many of you, deep inside, wonder if you couldn't have made it as a professional racing driver? Maybe not the next Michael Schumacher, but at least a promising prospect. If only you had started out in karting at a young enough age, kept yourself in shape and found the sponsorship to fund what could have been a budding career. You look at the racing line around the corners of city streets on your commute, view a twisting mountain road as a challenge instead of an inconvenience, and offer friends unsolicited (and seldom appreciated) advice on their driving habits.

Starting to sound familiar? It did to us, but that was before Alfa Romeo invited us to take part in its Guida Sicura advanced driving program at the Varano circuit in northern Italy. While we may have gone in with delusions of tire-smoking grandeur before we arrived, they were all completely deflated after our first couple of laps around the track with a former rally champion or Ferrari factory driver riding shotgun helpfully putting us in our place. But by the end of the day those baseless fantasies were replaced by a marked improvement in our driving competence. Read on to see how the day unfolded.