Cash doesn't equal talent. That's the unfortunate reality, wherein those who have the money to spend on a powerful European performance automobile, for example, don't necessarily possess the skills to drive them like they're meant to be driven. Call it one of the great injustices of auto-dom. Fortunately there are those out there dedicated to righting that wrong. Some of them work at the AMG Driving Academy, but sadly for American enthusiasts, the experience has only been available on the other end of a trans-Atlantic flight... until now. Mercedes' in-house tuning division has announced that its driving school will be – like a Neil Diamond song or an Eddie Murphy movie – coming to America.
Covering the northeast, southeast and west coast, the AMG Driving Academy will be setting up shop – for a limited time, mind you – at Lime Rock, Palm Beach and Laguna Seca with a whole fleet of muscular Germans in three different programs. Among those vehicles in the school's paddock are the C63, SLK55, SL63, CLK 63 Black Series and the new E63 AMG. There are one- and two-day packages available at different levels, all of which you can read about in the press release after the jump, where you'll also find the hidden highlight: the SLS program at Laguna Seca, in which participants will be among the first to drive the new AMG SLS gullwing supercar ahead of its market debut.
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MERCEDES AMG DRIVING ACADEMY RACES TO THE U.S.
MONTVALE – Mercedes AMG is offering driving enthusiasts a chance to fulfill their dreams of driving top performance vehicles and sharpening their racing skills with the U.S. launch of its AMG Driving Academy. The AMG Driving Academy is an advanced driver training program that allows enthusiasts, under the guidance of top professional instructors, to experience the excitement of motorsports and the track capabilities of Mercedes-AMG vehicles.
Originally founded by AMG in Affalterbach, Germany in 2007, the AMG Driving Academy arrives Stateside in September 2009 and offers an opportunity to get behind the wheel of several AMG models including the all new E63 AMG, SL63 AMG, C63 AMG, SLK55 AMG and the CLK63 AMG Black Series. The program features custom-designed excercises that showcase the dynamic driving capabilitlies of these AMG vehicles across three premier tracks:
Lime Rock Park (Lime Rock, CT) – September 9-15, 2009
Few tracks are as well known and loved. This classic 1.53-mile, 7-turn course, nestled in the Berkshire Mountains of northwest Connecticut continues to challenge some of the world's best drivers since 1957.
Palm Beach International Raceway (West Palm Beach, FL) – September 22-27, 2009
Boasting an 11-turn, 2.034-mile design, Palm Beach International Raceway road course features some of the fastest and most challenging corners and straightaway's offered by any track in North America.
Laguna Seca Raceway (Monterey, CA) – November 7-8 & 17-20, 2009
Located in one of North America's best destination locations -- the Monterey Peninsula, Laguna Seca features tremendous elevation changes, the famous Corkscrew complex, and 2.24 sinewy miles.
The AMG Driving Academy launches with two program levels:
• AMG Driving Academy Stage I: A one day program designed to teach the fundamentals of performance driving dynamics and car control maneuvers using customized exercises that emphasize the power and handling capabilities of AMG vehicles. Drivers will also test their skills on the track at high speeds and during performance course competition. The AMG Driving Academy Stage I program fee is $1,895.00 per participant
• AMG Driving Academy Stage I SLS: Drivers attending the AMG Driving Academy Stage One at Laguna Seca Raceway from November 17-20 will have the opportunity to be among the very first to drive the most technologically advanced AMG ever – the all-new 2011 SLS AMG. The AMG Driving Academy Stage 1 SLS program fee is $2,295.00 per participant which includes a one night stay at the InterContinental Hotel in Monterey.
• AMG Driving Academy Stage II: A two-day program that provides a deep level of technical driver training both on and off the track. As an advanced program, Stage 2 is offered to drivers who have completed Stage I or an equivalent course. The program offers significantly more track driving over Stage 1 to extract a driver's maximum potential in a performance driving setting. A unique feature of Stage II is the use of computer driver training and evaluation through advanced onboard diagnostics and in-car camera recordings of their laps. This program also includes a competitive performance course competition. The AMG Driving Academy Stage II program fee is $3,495.00 per participant.
All fees include a dinner reception and introductory briefing the evening before the program, track hospitality, AMG Driving Academy certificate of program completion and an AMG gift bag. Participants are responsible for travel and accommodations. Additional information and registration for the AMG Driving Academy is available at www.AMGacademy.com or by phone at 1-800-217-6916.
About Mercedes-Benz USA
Mercedes-Benz USA, headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, is responsible for the sales, marketing and service of all Mercedes-Benz and Maybach products in the United States. For more than 40 years, MBUSA has taken pride in its commitment to the customer by providing superior quality luxury vehicles coupled with outstanding customer support. More information on MBUSA and its products can be found at www.mbusa.com and www.maybachusa.com.