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Old 15th May 2019, 17:10   #1
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Default With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more

Read our report on The incredible Motul Museum & Car Collection, South Africa at this link.

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-banner.jpg

During the beginning of March 2019, Team-BHP received an invite from Michelin for their “South Africa Passion Experience” (to be held in first half of April). Yours truly was nominated to represent Team-BHP. I have never been to the African continent and that itself was a good excuse for me to apply for leaves from work. The event form mentioned that an international driving license might be needed. This made the trip even sweeter.

Needless to say I was really looking forward to this trip!

As with most media events, the most boring and nerve-wracking part is the visa process. So, I couriered all the documents and passport to the event folks without any delays and then started working on converting the Kerala driving license to Karnataka (where I currently reside and my passport has been renewed from). This was to help me apply for the International Driving Permit (the old one that I had was now expired). During the process, I was constantly scanning through the web to find out what these “Experience” events from Michelin were all about?! This is what I could find...



… and it was surely interesting! Imagine 4 days of this? Would be totally fun or what?! This is like a 'dream come true' for an automotive nut case like you and me right?

Then the first bummer occurred, the whole process of license transfer was not going as expected, and I was in such a situation that, I won’t even have my original DL with me! Panic sets in…. but somehow, I managed to collect my existing DL within a weekend before the travel. The second lingering question was about the visa, at T minus 3 working days. I had no idea when my passport will reach me after the visa stamping. This meant that even if I was planning to fly down to Kerala for the IDP (International Driving Permit), I would not be able to apply for it since a passport with a valid visa is the minimum requirement for IDP. To add to that I did not have enough working days in between (before the travel dates) to pull all of this IDP application!

Not a bright start for this one, alright.

There is always a Plan B and that is carrying the expired IDP, to take a chance in South Africa (not a bright idea but that was all I could think off at that point LOL). Needless to say, the very thought of being in a driving event, without being able to drive gave me many sleepless nights. Suddenly things really start to pick up the pace! First, I got info that my passport is being couriered across (YAY!) and second, I received the detailed itinerary for the event.

Day 1 of travel log book

I board the flight on an uneventful Tuesday early morning hours from Bangalore and after a slightly longish layover at Abu Dhabi airport, I arrive at Johannesburg on 9th April.

It is evening in Johannesburg and I have clocked in almost 20 hours of travel, but that is not going to stop my excitement as we approach the first land mass after 8 hours in air. First sighting of South Africa from the aircraft.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-africa.jpg

Airport was rather long from a walking perspective, but I was out without any hassles. We (my flight had dealers from Arab countries and some influencer folks) are welcomed at the airport by the Michelin South Africa team. While we waited for other flights from Dubai to arrive, I noticed that they had taken ample care to ensure the team was safe. The city does not have the best of safety ratings and Michelin does not take any chances. So here we are transported by shuttle with hefty (but very sweet) bodyguards accompanying us in an Endeavour and Fortuner! First interesting fact about South Africa I noted, we do have lot of common models of cars with this country.

See the gangsta Fortuner parked behind, we were waiting for another coach to catch up on the main road.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-bodyguard.jpg

We arrive at the hotel in an hour since this was peak hour traffic. After a quick shower we proceed for dinner at Moyo Melrose Arch, which is about half an hour's drive from the hotel Palazo Montecassino where we are put up for the night.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-palazo.jpg

What welcomed us at Moyo, elaborate welcoming flags and a big screen, which had a video hinting at how the whole experience was going to unfold.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-moyo2.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-moyo1.jpg

We caught up with the whole Michelin South Africa team. They briefed us on the many experiences waiting for us. I am hoping the IDP topic never comes up, and I get to drive without any hitch.

We got to watch some local performance at the Moyo. A first exposure for me in the arts of this continent.


And thus, ended Day 1. The travel had taken a toll on me, and I fell asleep as soon as I hit the bed. Woke up couple of hours later and after a quick shower, we are off to the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit. Sadly, we did not even get the time to see the premises of this beautiful hotel apart from the lobby and the room corridors. It was going to be a long day and even breakfast was planned at Kyalami. Weather was nippy, just like Bangalore in monsoon, but I am all pumped up for the day ahead.

Before I move on to the track experience, I would like to share a few interesting notes about South Africa, especially Johannesburg city. Aside from the safety concerns, the infrastructure of the city is so much better than what we have in our Indian metro cities. All the major roads are 6 or 8 lanes and traffic is so well behaved even in peak traffic. Traffic is as bad as the city I live in India (Bangalore), but the South Africans can teach unruly Indian drivers a whole lot about driving discipline. Distances are far, but the way in which the whole area is connected and the manner in which they have maintained the whole province is worth a mention. Clean to international standards, you won’t find any garbage dumps anywhere in the city. Forget the city, even the slums far away from the city are well kept, yes there are no roads there and it is muddy due to the rains, but I didn't find any trash thrown around and it was pretty organised compared to the totally cramped slums we are used to! Believe me or not, during the whole trip I found only one small trash pile and that too in a deserted stretch. We would have travelled about 400 km in and around Jo'burg during this trip, and to me all this speaks a lot about how (good) the country is otherwise. Hope they find a solution to the crime rate issue to make the country an awesome one.

This is a view of peak time traffic in the morning. I did not hear any honking or see any lane cutting. Everyone patiently waits for turns and merges into the respective traffic lanes.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-traffic.jpg

Maybe next time will use this one for the traffic
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-stretchbeetle.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 18th May 2019 at 16:16.
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Old 15th May 2019, 17:10   #2
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Day 2 of travel log book

Kyalami Grand Prix circuit is where we are going to be spending time and then would proceed to our night stay at Sun City, which is about 3 hours from Kyalami.

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-kyalami.jpg

I was unaware that this was a Grand Prix circuit once upon a time, where almost all the famous names we know from F1 history have raced. Makes it really special or what? The discussion rooms are even named after them with these write-ups about them besides the door.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-kyposter1.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-kyposter2.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-kyposter3.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-4.jpg

I was made to understand that sometime back in history, the circuit was shortened and that is how it lost its F1 accreditation. But there is good news and now this circuit has been bought over by a private entity and they have rebuilt it to its past glory. They are also in the process of getting back the accreditation, so we may soon see a race back in South Africa.

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-kyalami1.jpg

Parked in front were these bright Z's right under the convention centre that has the pitlane on one side.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-kyalami2.jpg

Kyalami is known to be a fast track, with sweeping corners as well as chicanes, and to top it off the elevation changes, which brings in some amazing blind turns while driving. Trick is to have marker points, like trees (yes you read it right) where you aim for, while approaching a blind turn. I am not kidding; the instructors would be saying, “Now aim for that tree… and go flat out” LOL. But before I get to taste the track, some breakfast and presentations from the Michelin team.

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-home-pagemin.jpg
Source

During the 2019 experience trip, Michelin was introducing some new tyres in Middle East and Africa, primarily the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV tyre. There are no immediate plans for an India launch though. This was the reason why dealers across the region and social media influencers were invited for the event. There were dealers from India too, just like few of the Indian media like Team-BHP.

Details of the new model that was presented to us.
Michelin Sport 4 SUV tyre.

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-pilot4suv.jpg

- The tread is asymmetrical; outer half of the thread is designed for dry conditions, while the inner half is focused on wet performance.
- A new compound mix of special elastomers and fine silica. Aramid & Nylon belts to be precise.
- Both the tread pattern and the new compound together aid in bringing out the best performance in varying conditions and environment.
- The rigid tread blocks and a two-layer, high density casing ply reinforces stiffness.
- Apart from the rim protectors, the sidewall engraving is done using a laser cut to give it a nice look. Even the boring lettering and design of sidewalls will look better.

Look at the treads - you can easily put your fingers between those vertical ones that run around. I guess this is what helps with wet grip as well as with lateral force absorption.

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-pilot4suvclose.jpg

And what does all this new design and tech mean in real life?

These are as per the tests conducted independently by TÜV SÜD in Germany.

- Dry surface braking, improved by 1.8 meters average from the competitors.
- Wet surface braking, improved to 3.15 meters, which increases to a whooping 5.2 meters when the test was conducted on worn tyres.
- As far as handling goes, on a wet circuit of 1050 meters, Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV made a gain of ~2.88 seconds faster than the competitors.

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-mpsuv.jpg

Michelin has now invited us to have a first-hand experience on these new tyres and not just to go by some PPT deck.

Before we proceeded to the circuit, we were given a presentation about Pilot Sport 4 S, which is 80% on road and 20% track biased. Just putting the specifics of the tyre, yes we at India will have to again wait for this I guess.

Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S

- Bi-compound with inner side designed for wet grip braking and outside for dry weather.
- Wet braking improvements of about .1 meter compared to nearest competitor at 80 kmph speed.
- Gives 2602 kms more compared to nearest competitor.
- Deep rim protectors.
- Nicer finish thanks to precision cuts.

And towards the end, we were taken through another deck on the track-specific model tyre, which we would be experiencing on track. Do note these are track specific and not road legal, but now known in race circuits as "lap time smasher" as per Michelin. This tyre has been developed in close collaboration from none other than Ferrari and Porsche.

The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R Tyre

To quote the official material:
Quote:
The semi-slick tyre developed to beat lap records

The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 R is a bespoke high performance tyre developed in conjunction with the most prestigious car manufacturers, such as Porsche and Ferrari, to meet the needs of experienced drivers in ultra-high performance cars who are looking for the ultimate performance during track days.

Homologated for use on the road, the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 R maximizes the grip on dry circuits and delivers very high grip levels, making it possible for the drivers to attack corners at very high speeds. Tests carried out on a circuit by Michelin with different vehicle manufacturers show an average increase of 0.5 sec/km using this new tyre. In the last two years the Porsche GT2 RS and GT3 RS have set 3 new record drives on the legendary Nordschleife of the Nürburgring, and all three cars were fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 R tyres.

To achieve this performance with the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 R, Michelin engineers have used tread compounds taken from the Motorsport Department. The new tyre tread of the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 R is specially made for dry track conditions. The number of tread blocks on the outer shoulder of the tyre has been reduced, and the central grooves are now closer together. This makes the tread blocks more rigid so that they can withstand the higher grip forces and improve driving precision. Ultimately the size of the tyre’s contact patch has increased by nearly 10%. The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 R thus makes it possible to fully use the power and potential of these ultra-high performance cars.

Pierre Chaput, the engineer responsible for the development of the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 R for the Ferrari 488 Pista, explains: “The challenge consisted in pushing the grip limits of the 488 Pista. Thanks to the performance of the ‘R’ version of the Pilot Sport Cup2 we were able to improve the lap times considerably while maintaining driving pleasure and reactivity which are characteristics of the Ferrari 488 Pista.”

For all tyres developed by Michelin in cooperation with Ferrari, driving simulators from both companies have played an important part in the tyre design and development. Ferrari’s test drivers worked alongside Michelin’s engineers on Michelin TameTire. This software, which was developed by Michelin, simulates and models tyre behaviour and enables the drivers to test the tyre virtually before running tests on a real circuit.


We move on to the driving and we have the following choices to drive: Golf R, BMW M4 and AMG C 63S
M4

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-m4.jpg

There is a mad rush to get to these cars and I somehow got to take the M4 as the first car; my first time on this track and that too on an M4… Wow!

The instructor is part of circuit racing and knows the track well and he gives me the low down of various acceleration / braking points as well as the lines that are to be taken on the warm up lap. Next one would be a flying lap with instructors telling me what NOT to do. Mind you I have not driven on a track for years and I was just getting the hang of it, and that’s when he said “time up, pull to the side for a cooling lap”. Idea is to cool the brakes and back into the pit lane. But I wanted more! And in that adrenalin rush and disappointment that I had to pull up, I forgot my phone inside the car LOL. Nevertheless, rushed back and joined the next Q so that I can get back on track and to my good luck, the M4 instructor noticed the phone I left behind and handed it back. Would have been a disaster of a trip, if I had lost the phone since I was not even carrying the backup phone!

I scanned the queue with the least headcount and that would be the AMG one.
AMG

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-amg.jpg

Queue was shorter not because it was not a great car, just that all from the group opted for it in the first go, and only a few were left there in the queue now. This time it is a lady instructor and she is part of the AMG testing team, and the cars are part of the AMG experience they run in these regions. First thing to trick you is that drive stick in this C 63S. One is so used to the central stick or knobs. I was looking puzzled and that’s when the instructor pointed to those stalks (me thinks - that looks like the indicators in normal cars). We had a small LOL moment and I moved the growling C 63S, which is already on Race mode. The best thing about this car is the soundtrack, the roar that turns into grunts and barks when going off throttle, this is a full-on sound show if you ask me. But apart from the sound, the car somehow felt more laid-back in the corners, as well as with the gearshifts, compared to the M4 that I drove. Maybe it was a heavier car not sure, but for me, the M4 was definitely more fun. Being on the same track for a second time, I was pushing the car a little more and the lady instructor almost jumped over me at one of the corners to grab the steering wheel. But I was not bad, could control the car well.

To be honest, all of the instructors were keeping it super conservative, since they had a very varied and wide experienced set of drivers joining them for the event. I have been on the other seat for off-road shows and I know how it has to be set up. Still, those few laps were fun while it lasted, and then back to the cooling down lap and then to the pits.

One more car to drive and after a little bit of a wait, it is my turn to go on the Golf R.
Golf R

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-golf.jpg

Finally the Golf and I went in thinking it would be the most boring after the M4 and AMG. 'Boy oh boy' I was so very wrong about this one. Familiar DSG but mounted on that brilliant Golf chassis, along with the brilliant suspension and all disc brakes around make this car quite a hooligan. I had noticed a large number of Golfs on the public road there in South Africa and now I know why people prefer this small HOT hatchback. It is so precise and being lightweight, so calm around the corners. The brilliant tyres add to the handling and not even a squeal of protest. The steering was sharp, so was the braking and I felt this was the fastest I drove that day on the track. Maybe the earlier lap helped me familiarise the dance, but to me this was the best drive I did, next would be the M4 and AMG would be the 2nd runner up. So that was it... track driving over for now, unless everybody from the group finishes up we can't go back in, at least for now.

The day was hot and I was thirsty, went inside for some refreshments and when I got back, saw the X6M ready to take in passengers. Yup, there were a few cars doing only chauffeur-drive of the track and they were the meanest. These included the Godzilla (Nissan GT-R), Ferrari 488 GTB and Porsche 911 Turbo S, apart from this white X6M. We are 3 passengers plus the driver who is a track racer. This guy was flying with a 2.7-ton car and doing crazy 160 kmph entry and 120 kmph exits off tight corners on a supposed SUV!! That is when it hits you, how amateur a track driver you are! This car was running on Pilot Sport Cup 2s and apart from the grip levels that this maniac was demonstrating, it was the noise (rather lack of it) from the tyres that I noticed. Absolutely no squeals! The G forces were so much that the car was hopping on its suspension at some turns (scares the hell out of you with those 'whup whup' sounds). But the professionals at the wheels knew what the limits are and kept it clean, it was really a fun roller coaster that we had in this car.



Shaken and stirred, I get out and mamma-mia, something very mean was waiting for me. Known as the Godzilla, the Nissan GT-R was driven by the local dealer of Nissan and he has been doing tracks since the last 5 years. But before we drive off, challenge no 1 is where to shove the backpack? Somehow pushed it in the rear footwell space and I belted up. Then we exit the pitlane and woaaah, it has some wheel spin! This car just pulls off like a rabid locomotive and into the fast left-hander ahead of us. I am holding the camera in one hand, grabbing the heck out of the door grabs and keeping myself in place with all my weight on the foot. This car was mad, absolutely mad mad one. Not only does it sound great, it moves so fast on those tight corners and once it hits the straights, it just keeps pulling away. How I wish I could have got to drive this, but the concerns were real; since the group is a very varied one, right from auto journalists, to the social media influencers to the Michelin dealers, it is not a wise thing to offer such fast cars to all. Still had the Ferrari and Porsche to taste, but the bell rang and our team had to clear off and move to the next activity. Cursed myself for missing these and moved on.


Last edited by Aditya : 18th May 2019 at 11:45. Reason: Typos
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Next activity lined up is the dry braking and handling. After a brief (repeat) presentation of the SUV tyre, we are given a BMW X5. We were first given a demo - first the hard braking where the Michelin car stopped about 8-10 feet before an identical car with another tyre brand stopped. As per the fair-trade laws in South Africa, competitors name cannot be revealed in such comparisons. Presentations just mentioned competitor 1, 2 etc. So even the tyres were de-badged, though I had a feeling these are from Dunlop?

Demo with Michelin Pilot 4 SUV.


Now with competitor tyres, the yellow flowerpot is where the nose of the earlier car shod with Michelin Pilot 4 SUV was.


Second part of the activity, which involves a dry slalom.


It is time for us to go through this activity, simple two steps. 1 - Accelerate to 100 kmph and on to full anchor, take a U turn. 2 - accelerate to 80 kmph and do a slalom between four cones. Idea is to give you a feel of how the tyres grips in the dry. To me, it was reassuring, not only did the car come to a stop without a fuss from 100 kmph, on the slalom, it stayed planted and felt like it was a walk in the park. Yes, these were premium SUVs with low profile tyres, so they would definitely perform better in comparison to the large sidewalls we are used to in this country. Still, it was quite easy to figure out that these tyres are good and a huge leap ahead in performance. Hope they hit our shores soon.

Day is getting warmer and it is time to taste some water driving. The team has created an artificial skid pan by pumping in water. Sequence is to accelerate to 60 kmph and brake such that you park between the four cones kept ahead. Then accelerate forward, take a U turn, do a double 8 formation, then to a slalom and finally slow down to the changeover area. Pretty simple and short one again.

This is how it looks from top and done nice + gentle.


And from inside with the instructor explaining.


Since I (along with 4 others) had missed the Ferrari and Porsche drives, Michelin guys sneaked us in as the first set for the wet drive, so that we can finish this activity and run back into pits to get the taste of the monsters. Jumped into a Velar for the wet drive and the first part of braking into the box was handled superbly by yours truly. Trick is to modulate the pressure on the brakes instead of a heavy foot, which works well in wet conditions irrespective of the traction aids that the car has. And a U turn and then I see the cones for taking the 8, and that is when I go a little bonkers, enough of this instructor led driving and I pushed the car to the best within the space and I was really surprised. No matter what I did, I couldn’t shake the car off its feet! My lady instructor was not at all impressed (I was also not sure if I was really doing an 8), but being a guest, I was let off with some mild comments he he he. Oh, I had two other passengers from the group and they enjoyed the joy ride I guess. I would have done the whole thing under half the time that you saw in the last video, to give you some perspective.

Time to jump out of this (though I could have stayed on as a passenger) and rush back to the track. We found one of those golf carts that agreed to drop us to the pit lane, which is about 500m away. But alas, the dealer group was still having their drives and we would have to wait, as they were a large group (unlike the 25 odd in our group). So there we are at the track, without a chance to get into the Ferrari and Porsche, with a high chance of us losing out on the 4th and final activity of the day. Add to that, the rain gods have started to bless us with tiny droplets. We also get to know that the Ferrari has chewed up the tyres and would need a change, which means further delays. Disappointed and tired, I am walking up and down the pit lane and the Ferrari comes in, the track coordinators have a word with him and then the tyre guys come out to measure the tread depth.

There you go, this was one last ride before me. Some parts of the tracks were still very wet then, and we are unsure if I would get a go.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-ferrarityre1.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-ferrarityre2.jpg

This is how a new tyre looks, for your reference.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-newtyre.jpg

There is 1 more mm before the danger level, but with a wet track it is the drivers call if he can risk taking me for a run. This car is owned and driven by this privateer gentleman, and he was so sweet that he agreed to push it and take us for the last few laps, before he goes in for a tyre change. Mind you, the track is wet, very very wet at some corners. He had to drive slower than usual due to all of this; still it was good fun sitting in my first Ferrari on a Grand Prix Circuit!



And what a lovely one in red.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-ferrari.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-ferrarirear.jpg

It is time to rush back to join the rest of the group, since we are nearing closing time. We hitch a ride back to activity no 4. Unfortunately, it had ended by the time we reached, from the looks of it, this was a tight short / mini track with corners where one could drive Nissan 370 Zs.

Once again, we head back to the pits! This time by coach for some refreshments; and some closing presentations later, we are on the bus to Sun City, about 3 hours’ drive. Arrived at Casscades hotel and yet another quick shower, and it is time to head out into Botsalanong Boma (boma means enclosure) amidst the wilderness. I kid you not, there was a gate (electric fence) where the sign reads “Trespassers would be eaten”.

This should give you an idea of what this place is all about.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-boma-1.jpg

We were served food prepared by Michelin Chef Wandile Mabaso and there was a live band performing.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-boma-2.jpg

The day ended with a drum jam and lots of dancing.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-boma-3.jpg

Food was yum and after the long travel, we were happy to be transported back to the hotel. It was close to midnight and we were supposed to leave for a Safari at Pilanesberg Game Reserve at 430 am. Fortunately, this was rescheduled for 6 am!!

Last edited by Aditya : 15th May 2019 at 17:13.
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Day 3 of travel log book

Day started with the Pilansberg Safari and though the onward drive was pretty low on sighting, we saw the beautiful African terrain. Sun City has an exclusive approach to this wildlife park, which made it a super convenient and exclusive choice of stay.

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-pilansberg1.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-pilansberg2.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-pilansberg3.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-pilansberg4.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-dsc01975.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-pilansberg6.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-dsc02006.jpg

Halfway through the safari and we encounter the first of the big 5’s of Africa. The Rhino, merrily munching on some shrubs under a tree.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-rhino.jpg



We get some close-up pics and then we go on to spot some Zebras, and then Giraffes. Wow, this seems to be a lucky day for the group, I was thinking.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-zebra.jpg

We take a turn off to see many of the safari vehicles parked, and lo & behold - there is a lioness and her cubs basking in the morning sun. Finally we get to meet Zimba!!
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-lion.jpg

The truck makes a U turn and back to the main road, suddenly our event coordinator who is sitting in front as the passenger sights a leopard in his rear-view mirror and the driver of the lorry does a super quick 3-point turn towards it. The animal has now moved away from the road and we see a young leopard happily trotting around the water body.

We get some nice shots of the fine hunter:
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-img_4362.jpg

We then turn around and move a couple of hundreds of meters and see the earlier group parked beside a lake, and behold, there are two wild hippopotami inside the lake!
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-hippo.jpg

I have seen all of these animals inside the zoo at my native in Trivandrum, but never ever seen them roaming freely out there in the wild. And that was my first organised wild safari experience, which I would say did not disappoint at all.

Half an hour to have breakfast and check out, we are back in the coach. As usual, with the busy schedule, we are running, this is what we got to see of the hotel.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-hotel.jpg

Next in this day's agenda is to visit the Maropeng Cradle of Humankind. Takes a couple of hours to reach the site and most of the team is snoring away, I did not want to miss the scenery and click some landscapes from inside the coach. We reach the location where we are greeted by a new static display that has been unveiled, which captures the South African freedom struggle against apartheid. But that is not the main attraction that we are here to see.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-dsc02039.jpg

Quote:
The Cradle of Humankind is a paleoanthropological site about 50 km (31 mi) northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa, in the Gauteng province. Declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1999, the site currently occupies 47,000 hectares (180 sq. mi) and contains a complex of limestone caves. The registered name of the site in the list of World Heritage sites is Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa.

The Sterkfontein Caves were the site of the discovery of a 2.3-million-year-old fossil Australopithecus africanus (nicknamed "Mrs. Ples"), found in 1947 by Robert Broom and John T. Robinson. The find helped corroborate the 1924 discovery of the juvenile Australopithecus africanus skull known as the "Taung Child", by Raymond Dart, at Taung in the North West Province of South Africa, where excavations still continue.

Near the site, the Rising Star Cave system contains the Dinaledi Chamber (chamber of stars), in which fifteen fossil skeletons of an extinct species of hominin, provisionally named Homo naledi were discovered.

Sterkfontein alone has produced more than a third of early hominid fossils ever found prior to 2010. The Dinaledi Chamber contains over 1,500 H. naledi fossils, the most extensive discovery of a single hominid species ever found in Africa.
https://www.maropeng.co.za/content/p...-heritage-site



Quote:
- The universe was formed about 14-billion years ago. The Earth is about 4.6-billion years old.
- Life first emerged about 3.8-billion years ago. Our journey begins in South Africa, where fossils of some of the earliest known life forms on Earth have been found.
- South Africa has yielded fossils of some of the earliest known dinosaurs, dating back at least 200-million years.
- Fossils of our distant mammal-like ancestors, which lived more than 200-million years ago, have also been found in South Africa.
- Africa is the birthplace of humankind. This is where our collective umbilical cord lies buried.
- Hominids – the ancestors of modern humans – first emerged about seven million years ago, in Africa.
- Many significant fossil finds have been made in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, including the famous fossils “Mrs Ples” and “Little Foot”.
- The first stone tools were made and used in Africa, at least 2.6-million years ago.
- Our ancestors were able to use and control fire at least one million years ago in the Cradle of Humankind.
- Homo sapiens, the species to which we all belong, evolved in Africa approximately 200 000 years ago.
- Africa ignited humankind’s imagination. Some of the oldest rock art in the world has been discovered in Southern Africa.
- All of humanity shares an African heritage. We are one diverse species across the globe, with our roots in Africa.
Long story short, this site has some interesting fossils being discovered. The final big find started with two friends who were into cave hunting. On a regular Sunday doing what they do (exploring caves), they discovered these amazing new caves. They could not reach the end of the caves, since they were too big in size to fit through the gaps.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-dsc02044.jpg

But they saw remains of bones, initially thought of it as a recent burial ground or such. Finally, the fairer sex was called in for help, who managed to get through and a whole new discovery was made about our origins. Our guide for the tour we notice, is one of the ladies who participated in this exploration!!!
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-dsc02046.jpg

It is an entirely new species that was discovered before us humans. World attention came in and this site became famous for the discovery of a new species, which was till then not recorded anywhere in Africa or elsewhere in the world.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-dsc02049.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-dsc02050.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-dsc02061.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-dsc02062.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-dsc02066.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-dsc02069.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-dsc02070.jpg

This site is still active and we even saw a lady who is working on cleaning up a rock with attached fossils. To give an idea about the effort that is required = she has been working on this small piece of fossil rock for the last 4 years!!
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-dsc02106.jpg

Time to board the bus (yet again) and off we go to meet some real lions!

http://www.lionandsafaripark.com This is a very famous tourist destination. Self-drive tour is allowed, but with strict instructions that the windows and doors have to be kept LOCKED all the while. I came to know that there were these two American tourists, who did not follow the instructions and their life was cut short by the animals. Apparently, the videos of this incident went viral on social media a year back or so. Thanks to this incident, for us it was caged trucks (earlier it was open), but there is good news also - we got to touch and feel some of these wild cats.



Most of these animals are rescued and cannot be released in the wild since they will not survive there. They have been taken care of in this facility, where the visitors get to see and experience them up close.

I am happy that I got to pet a Cheetah. Well, he was trained and well behaved if you ask me. Still we were given some very strict instructions, no fast movements that makes them cranky, nor should we approach them from their sides or from behind. Walk straight towards the cat, slowly position to the side and then pet, while the fellow feeds on some meat. Absolutely no grabbing or hugs, or even selfies. I got to pet this fellow two times (bucket list check).



Back to the truck and we are taken to an enclosure with the lions. The lion that attacked the tourist is kept separate now, but we get to meet her mates and sister. Fun fact - a lion can grow to 220-250 kg (in the wild, its lesser ~180-190 kg) and can reach out to almost 10 feet! The oldest fellow was 15 years, though they survive only 8-10 years out there in the wild. The caretaker has been with them for a couple of decades and he can really muscle around with them. But he is also very careful and emphasizes that it is all about mutual trust and respect that keeps him alive. He is very careful with the ones that were not raised by him. Inspite of these animals being here for years, the predator instinct in them is always alive, and all it takes is one bad move and then it will become headlines.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-safari-lion.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-safar-lion-1.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-safari-lions.jpg



We have to head back to Johannesburg city where we will have a very late lunch at Michelin Chef Wandile Mabaso’s restaurant. Place is rather nice, open space where people get to interact closely with the chef as well as enjoy some arts. Local artists display their creations for customers to view here. Rather interesting concept.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-chef6.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-chef4.jpg

Eating is not the only agenda in this experience tour, the group will get to experience first-hand, the cooking as well as try out some minor stuff themselves, like plating, final garnishing et all.

A look at the menu of what we tasted.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-chef3.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 15th May 2019 at 17:14.
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Old 15th May 2019, 17:10   #5
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After some excellent cooking lessons and lunch, we are now going to see something that is not available to the public otherwise. This is a super select collection of vehicles by a South African individual that is very private in nature and likes to keep himself off the limelight. The collection hence is more famously known as the Motul Museum / Collection. I will be putting up a separate thread for that.

Update: dedicated thread for Motul Museum South Africa.

There are over 200 vehicles here in this secret location spread over two parking floors inside a private residential property in the middle of Johannesburg. It was late when we arrived here, but I guess this was a very posh locality with large villas & heavy security arrangements.

Some unique facts about this rather unique collection:

- The collection is not restricted to one brand or one class of vehicle. You can see vehicles across manufacturers and some of these have the whole series of the particular model!
- Almost 99% of it is in running condition and is regularly taken out, some of them even used on tracks to stretch their legs.
- Every weekend, the team that takes care of the garage lines up 4 or 5 vehicles in front, which the owner uses and parks after marking anything that needs to be done on the vehicle.
- All are lovingly maintained by a passionate technical manager and his team.
- Most of them are low mileage ones.
- Very few needed restorations and were bought as it is.
- Very rarely, some of them are put up on auctions.
- First one the gentlemen bought and restored when he was 18 years or so was a VW Beetle, unfortunately it was sold.
- Most pricey one is a Jaguar E type (Flat floor) in pristine condition and is quiet priceless I believe.
- There are a few bikes also.
- He has another larger collection elsewhere in SA, where he has collected almost all the cars sold once in this country!

Well, the long day is yet to get over and we had another 45 minutes at the hotel to freshen up and then catch a glimpse of nightlife in Jo’berg. Reality was that not many had the energy, but on the other hand, one doesn’t visit these places every year, so had a quick shower and enjoyed at a lounge next door. I have to say, the city is rather vibrant at night and there are places that party on well after 2 am in the middle of the week. As usual, the food was lip smacking delicious.

Last edited by Jaggu : 20th May 2019 at 14:42. Reason: Adding Motul Museum link
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Old 15th May 2019, 17:10   #6
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Day 4 of travel log book.

This would be the final day here in Johannesburg, evening we take the flights back home. Before that we have one unique experience waiting for us. The previous day, we had a glimpse of how it felt like going down under the earth and caves through exhibits. Today, we are going to experience first-hand something similar; a diamond mine it is! Cullinan Diamond Mines is our destination. You can get the details here - https://www.cullinan-tours.co.za

Quote:
Activity Description
The Cullinan Diamond Mine is renowned as a source of large, high-quality gem diamonds, including Type II stones, as well as being the world’s most important source of very rare blue diamonds.

Cullinan earned its place in history with the discovery of the Cullinan diamond in 1905, the largest rough gem diamond ever found at 3,106 carats, which was cut to form the two most important diamonds in the British Crown Jewels. Many of the world’s most famous diamonds herald from Cullinan, and it continues to produce world-class diamonds under Petra’s stewardship.

The Cullinan orebody contains a major diamond resource of 195 Mcts, suggesting a potentially long life for the operation of +50 years.
Come and enjoy with us exclusive surface and underground tours of the working Cullinan Diamond Mine.

This mine has produced some of the world’s largest high quality gemstones and is the home of the world’s largest diamond – the Cullinan (3106 ct).

Recently, a number of record braking blue diamonds have been found including a 122.52-carat diamond which achieved a value of US$ 27.6 million in 2014.

After visiting the mine, you will get the opportunity to visit the Cullinan Diamond Mine market for an unforgettable diamond and jewellery shopping experience.
The welcome centre for tourists.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-1.jpg

Some period artefacts including a giant projector. Lot of history around, but we are really really late and have to go in and change into the mining overalls, boots and collect the rations pack for the day.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-2.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-3.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-4.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-5.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-6.jpg

Well, this is not the real thing, but this is a replica of the actual big rock they found here.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-big-rock.jpg

Safety in the mine is taken very seriously and they are proud to have zero accidents since a few years, this is a very big achievement in an otherwise dangerous work environment / industry.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-safety.jpg

That’s me looking funny with a one size small suit LOL. Loose fitting ones will definitely help, with the hot humid environment where we are going to enter.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-beast.jpg

Vs the competition!
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-beauty.jpg

Our transport in the facility, this old lady is from the 1950's I guess; still purrs on perfectly.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-climbing-down.jpg

We have to first go and collect the light and survival pack. Kit includes a lamp to mount on the hat, a proximity buzzer integrated into the kit and most important - the survival kit, which will help in case of a fire. It is a breathing apparatus.

Small part of the safety instruction video, which helps understand how the breathing apparatus works.


These are the lights neatly arranged after charging. Like I mentioned earlier, they have a proximity sensor, which starts buzzing like crazy when any moving equipment is in the proximity, to warn about the danger. There is a checkpoint at the exit of this store, where it will do an auto check of the buzzer when you walk by. Good safety check process.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-cap-lights.jpg

They do keep a count of how many went down. Counter moves every time someone passes through the revolving gate. Around 300 people work in this mine at a time.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-headcount.jpg

Now this is the best cable tie I have ever encountered.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-lock.jpg

Kid you not, we are deep, very very deep!
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-depthinlift.jpg

Look at the size of those wheels! And chains for extra traction.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-bigwheels.jpg

There are chambers like these where one can take shelter in case anything goes wrong. It has a provision to supply fresh air through compressed air lines.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-safechamber.jpg

And when you are inside such a tunnel, those chambers indeed are a lifesaver.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-longtunnel.jpg

Just to give you an idea of how it feels walking inside the mine. See the silver survival pack at the back, that's about 3-4 kilograms and not very easy to carry around. We would have walked about 2.5 kilometres and it was quite exhausting to many. Lugging all that weight in that hot and humid environment is not exactly a cake walk and there are people who do that throughout the day and the year for their livelihood.


The raw excavated materials are brought here and dumped inside these pits, so that it can be lifted out.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-collection.jpg

And this is how the wagons are tipped to the chamber. Semi automated but work well, also you can hear one of the helmets buzzing since the person was close to the wagon at the beginning.


There are sections where the area is quite humid and mucky.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-darkcave.jpg

If the excavated content is in large chunks, these crushers ensure they are taken care of.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-crusher.jpg

This is the raw material from which the diamonds are extracted and no, the shiny bit is not the real rock. Though if we were to point to a real stone, they would offer us 10% of the value as a reward.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-rawmaterial.jpg

When you have over 750 kilometres of a cave network, you might want to keep some normal transport also and hopefully its fully fuelled!!!!
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-vehicle.jpg

After we get back to the surface, we get a glimpse of the great pit also. This is what was dug up by humans who went in search of this elusive rock.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-thegiantpit.jpg

This is the very tall separator where the excavated material starts its journey to being a real diamond.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-separator.jpg

We also had a chance to pick up some finished products, but since I didn’t see anything less than 1000$ price tag, those stones never had the privilege of getting into my possession. Their loss I guess and hope the missus is not reading LOL.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-sale1.jpg

So thank you and its time to go back and get out of the heavy gear!
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-goodbye.jpg

Another period transporter spotted, used for visitors to be ferried around.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-transport.jpg

We have a couple of hours and Michelin team insists we have the final lunch together, instead of the airport so we move to a very unique place - a beach restaurant in the middle of Africa! Seafood is the specialty here, though other food types were also available.
With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-restaurant.jpg

With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & more-restaurantpano.jpg

Some of us were cutting it really close for the flights back home, so we were rushed to the airport. Before we leave, we exchange goodbyes with each other and share our appreciation to the whole Michelin South Africa team, who were out there throughout the experience trip, ensuring things were comfortable for the whole team.

Last edited by Aditya : 15th May 2019 at 17:15.
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Old 15th May 2019, 17:11   #7
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What Michelin has done here is not just give us all a taste of the new tyres that are being launched, but a lifetime worth of experiences and memories in those 3 days we spent with them. The stay, the cuisines, the location we visited were all remarkable and well thought off.

What a personal memento they presented at the end; it is a video capturing moments of the event with a little dash of you!


Disclaimer: Michelin invited Team-BHP for the trip. They covered all the travel expenses for this event.

Last edited by Aditya : 15th May 2019 at 17:15.
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Old 15th May 2019, 17:19   #8
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 16th May 2019, 09:52   #9
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Default Re: With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & mo

Experiences like these made me aspire to be an automotive journalist (remained a pipe dream). Exotic cars, locales, food, animals... What more can one want from life! Very well described as well (duh).
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Old 16th May 2019, 19:31   #10
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Originally Posted by superbad View Post
Experiences like these made me aspire to be an automotive journalist (remained a pipe dream). Exotic cars, locales, food, animals... What more can one want from life! Very well described as well (duh).
superbad. Glad that you liked the thread. Yes from the experience perspective it was great! but one can't do this every other day for sure. As far as journos goes, they also have to toil it out.. with all the travel, lack of sleep and then the dead lines. Give me a choice, I would limit myself to exotic cars and driving. Rest is unwanted frills he he
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Old 16th May 2019, 21:48   #11
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Default Re: With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & mo

Wow, very nicely written and while reading the post, it made me feel as if I am really experiencing it. It must have been loads of experiences there. Keep it coming.
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Old 17th May 2019, 07:09   #12
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Default Re: With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & mo

Nice report Jaggu. I had to pass on this because I felt the driving time was too limited for the amount of time I would invest in travelling all the way.

And I do not like "guided" vacations. You're always put on a tight deadline without any freedom to explore your own interests.

Michelin is the only tyre company in India to actually incorporate such driving activities into their dealer programmes. Apollo did one or two events at BIC but that was it I think.
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Old 17th May 2019, 11:49   #13
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Originally Posted by mpp19 View Post
Keep it coming.
Thanks! Something very interesting is coming out of the kitchen soon

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Originally Posted by Nikhilb2008 View Post
Nice report Jaggu. I had to pass on this because I felt the driving time was too limited for the amount of time I would invest in travelling all the way.
Completely agree!

Quote:
And I do not like "guided" vacations. You're always put on a tight deadline without any freedom to explore your own interests.
+1000000000000 but then again it is like lot of things which I wouldn't have normally bothered with happened with this one. So can't really complain.

Quote:
Michelin is the only tyre company in India to actually incorporate such driving activities into their dealer programmes.
And I believe they do this every year. New location and experience for dealers? A good way to keep the folks motivated and interested in the brand.
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Old 19th May 2019, 14:11   #14
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And I believe they do this every year. New location and experience for dealers? A good way to keep the folks motivated and interested in the brand.
All tyre companies do this kind of a trip every year. However, Michelin doesnt always include a driving component. The last time there was something like this was on November 2015 in France. At the Paul Ricard Circuit. My dad, my cousin and me had attended that. I got to drive the Nissan GTR, the Audi R8 V10 and the Cayman R. My dad drove the Ferrari 458, Lamborghini Hurracan and the 911 Turbo.
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Old 20th May 2019, 14:52   #15
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Default Re: With Michelin South Africa! Pilot Sport 4 SUV Tyres, Track Day, Jungle Safari, Diamond Mine & mo

It was a totally different read altogether. Track experience coupled with a mini travelogue. And very well written too. Enjoyed it fully. Polichu machaaaa....

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