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April 04, 2009

On the Road with Subaru's Fantasy Rally

Subaru_woman I was thrilled to be invited to join Subaru's inaugural Fantasy Rally last fall. They invited a handful of journalists and me, a mere blogger, to New Hampshire to learn more about the Subaru brand and drive their latest models while picking up some mad driving skillz at the O'Neil Rally School and Car Control Center.

The Rally and Car Control School trains rally drivers as well as others who need serious defensive driving techniques. Rumor has it the Department of Defense provides many students.

A sunny morning provided the perfect light for viewing the Subaru  lineup. My eight-year old Outback is so pockmarked; it's filled with dents and dings that attest to its long, useful life. I drooled over the shiny new Impreza, Forester,  Outback and Tribeca. So clean. So very, very clean.

Subaru-rally-education After an overview of the models, we headed in for a bit of classroom instruction. We talked skids, line breaking, apexes, target fixation,  oversteering, understeering, evasive maneuvers and more.
Then we headed outside to drive. First, the instructor demonstrated a given technique, then we students got behind the wheel to execute it ourselves. We drove the new cars I'd admired earlier in the morning, switching it up to try them all.

Our first technique was skid control. Check my video, filmed from the passenger seat during my lesson. Warning: not for those prone to carsickness.

We also slalomed around safety cones, practiced evasive maneuvers and late breaking-moves that got my heart pumping and adrenaline flowing.

My day at Rally School was an exciting change from my typical suburban carpool driving. I recently demonstrated a few of my new techniques for my boys in a nearby (empty) parking lot. Major coolness points for this geeky mom!

Kim_Moldofsky By Kim Moldofsky
AskPatty Guest Blogger

Kim Moldofsky writes at Hormone-colored Days and Chicago Moms Blog. She is a social media consultant who works with companies, including Subaru, to connect with moms online.

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