Smoke, squealing tires, and the roar of engines filled a parking lot at IPFW on Saturday.
The Three Rivers Section of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America held a defensive driving course as part of its Rally at the Rivers Regional Event. Orange traffic cones dotted the blacktop as Mercedes-Benz drivers lined up to learn defensive driving techniques."Now those cones are a stopped truck, " said Mary Alice Cozza, a trainer from Ohio, directing a driver's attention to the wall of cones several yards in front of them. "Now really get some speed," Cozza said after directing the driver that she would shout for the driver to brake then go left of the cones. At a second exercise, a slolum, she directed, "Stay close to the cones," as the car weaved through them. The last exercise involved racing down a lane and stomping on the brake to have the driver feel the car's system kick in.
The knowledge came in handy as drivers gripped their steering wheels and floored their gas pedals in an autocross. Cutting tight turns and watching the course ahead, drivers raced through the course.
The group will display their cars 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday at a Shine & Shows in Lawton Park.