Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Brutes Hammer Safety Message

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Brutes Hammer Safety Message

Article excerpt

Byline: Grant Edwards

CONVOYS don't come much more spectacular.

More than 40 of the most muscular Mercedes you can muster, collectively worth about $10 million.

Lining Phillip Island's pit lane are a bevy of AMG's finest - that's Mercedes-Benz's performance arm - including the SLK 55 AMG roadster, C63 AMG Edition 507 coupe, CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake and the E63 AMG saloon.

Yet this is no museum.

Those here are able to sample these powerhouses in their natural habitat.

This is the "Evolution" level of the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy's Festival of AMG program. It's one of about 120 events run by the academy, and while there are some days devoted to showing Benz customers the basics in car control and the latest technology, these AMG days are dedicated to quickening the pulse.

There are events held in conjunction with the grand prix at Albert Park, one on the snow near Queenstown in New Zealand as well as another at Sydney Motorsport Park, and two at "The Island".

Getting the opportunity to sample some of the three-pointed star's most brutal powerhouses is not open to just anyone.

It's by invitation only, and there is never a shortage of drivers eager to put a selection of AMGs to the test.

AMG event seats are prized, and the Phillip Island event was a rapid sell out with a willing group happy to lay down $2400 for the experience.

Those on the illustrious invitation list are primarily AMG owners or members of the AMG club who have a proven ability on the track.

And that circuit is fast and challenging. Our experience was made even more interesting by a gloomy Victorian day.

Standing water and constant rain delivered conditions to test even the most experienced steerers.

Phillip Island is not a place for the fainthearted. The MotoGP boys hammer past 320kmh on the main straight, but the AMGs usually pull close to 200kmha[degrees]although not in the wet. …

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