If one exercise appears in almost all security driving and EVOC programs, it would be the slalom course. It is the staple exercise in most of all hands-on driving programs.
From the mid-’70s to the present, nearly half a century, the combination of the Scotti School and VDI has been driving students through a slalom course. So it was with great interest when we (ISDA) viewed a YouTube video from 2020 entitled “A New Guinness World Records™ for Fastest Vehicle Slalom.”
The video shows sixteen-year-old kart racer Chloe Chambers breaking the Guinness slalom record. Chloe drove a Porsche 718 Spyder through the slalom in 47.45 seconds. What’s remarkable is that at 16 years old, Chambers doesn’t have much experience in cars, but she has been racing karts for nine years.
Looking Through the Science Lens
So we thought we would look at the Guinness Slalom World Slalom Record through the “science lens” of the old Scotti School and VDI and zero in on what this young lady accomplished.
The Guinness Slalom course is 51 cones separated by 50 feet, and the vehicle, a Porsche 718 Spyder, is capable of producing 1.04 G’s, which is substantially different from the slalom used in most training programs.
So we have a young lady who drove through 50 cones separated by 50 feet in a vehicle capable of producing 1.04 G’s, meaning that she drove the 2500 feet in 47.45 seconds; using simple math, she averaged 35.84 MPH.
Driving a vehicle capable of 1.04 G’s at an average speed of 35.84 MPH, working out the numbers, she applied an average of .8 G’s on the car and had to do that 50 times. Also, consider that at 35.84 MPH, she was moving 52.7 Feet Per Second through cones separated by 50 Feet or .95 seconds between cones.
She decided when and where to move the steering wheel and a what speed in less than a second 50 times. She combined her speed and steering to go fast enough to break the slalom record and not exceed the vehicle’s capability and did that 50 times. Remember that the slalom course is an exercise where instructors can measure the student’s ability to use the vehicle capability.
If you went to the Scotti school or VDI and used 80% of the vehicle, you drove through the slalom at 36 MPH in a car that handled at .88 G’s. Remember that your vehicle had 20% less capacity than the vehicles used in the Guinness record.
So, what would the results be if you were an old guy who went to the Scotti School or a VDI program and drove the Porsche 718 Spyder through their slalom?
At 80% of the vehicle capability, you will reach 39 MPH, a second between each cone – since most of the students use more than 85% of the vehicle, your speed would be about 41 MPH with less than a second between cones.
If we use the Scotti School/VDI standards of 80%, how did Ms. Chambers perform, and how does it compare to the previous record? As mentioned above, our numbers indicate that she used 80% of the Porsche capability.
Ms. Chambers did well.