Upon receiving an email from the Rams Gate Winery’s Wine Club, where I’m a member I thought I had misread the email. It was inviting a select number of Rams Gate Winery Wine Club Members to enjoy an afternoon participating in the infamous Audi Sportscar Experience driving school followed by a Rams Gate Wine Tasting. This was my dream come true. Being a former Audi car owner (I literally just traded in my Audi A4 for an SUV) I was beyond excited to attend this amazing afternoon (assuming I was one of the first few to RSVP since there was limited space). It turns out, I was, so it really was my lucky day.
After inviting a friend Kate to join me I was all set and ready for the amazing afternoon at Audi. As someone who’s been told numerous times (technically three times by the police with speeding tickets) that I have a lead foot this was my dream come true! On top of being able to drive a car extremely fast without worrying about breaking the law or getting a ticket, I was able to drive an Audi (one of my favorite car brands) at Sonoma’s very own Sonoma Raceway. I felt like a kid in a candy store as the excitement lead up to the big day at Audi Sportscar Experience.
Upon arriving we were greeted by the Rams Gate Team, welcomed by General Manager David Oliver and the Audi Sportscar Team. We were told there would be three segments including:
1. A practice driving/training course set up in the parking lot where we each drove an Audi TTS
2. Riding in an Audi R8 on the race track with the professionally trained Audi instructors (sadly we only rode during this portion we were not able to drive) but if you return for a full day course you can drive depending on which course you take.
3. Simulator practice which I found to be the hardest part. Here you practice on a large tv screen, driving a pretend car getting familiar with the race track and strategy.
Interior of the Audi TTS. Surprisingly it’s automatic. I learned all race cars are automatic (some with tiptronics or handle shifting gears) so you can focus on the driving vs. shifting with your feet.
Part II. The Audi R8 ride on the racetrack!