KEEPING BUSINESS ON TRACK

ON Track Drift is taking a different spin on driver education.

Eugene Arendsen, once a competitive racer and stunt driver on various films, felt compelled to create a safe driving environment that didn't halt adrenaline in its tracks.

However, this chapter of Arendsen's life was cut short, serving as an instigator to open a business which now turns over six figures annually.

This is in spite of On Track Drift only officially being open for business for 14 event days in the past financial year.

"I raced competitively for quite a while but then the global financial crisis happened and my national series stopped running," says Arendsen. "At first, I just wanted to start driving again and enjoy myself then we realised our business idea didn't yet exist in Australia."

Arendsen and partner Cecilia Kauhanen established the business in 2009 with a goal to change the face of drifting after one year's research and development, and watching similar services soar in popularity in Japan. Since launching, there are now two other schools offering a similar service in Australia.

On Track Drift is equally focused on educating young people in precision driving as the art of drifting and has the credentials to prove this, recently approved by a Queensland police senior sergeant "as an essential teaching in defensive driving for all young drivers".

The couple first branched out into corporate days designed for adults looking for "something different than just a hot lap in a V8".

"On Track Drift isn't designed for hoons; it's a precision driving experience where you are trained under the instruction of a qualified stunt driver," says Kauhanen.

Now Kauhanen and Arendsen are also homing in on young driver education a matter close to both of their hearts through their Survive 25 driving program which they intend to run through schools.

Arendsen says a few people he met through the industry sustained serious injuries and it became a real eye opener.

"Teenagers often think they are invincible and if they spin out they can just drift out of it, but it doesn't matter what you do, you cannot initiative a drive in your common family car," says Kauhanen. "You only put yourself, your friends and others you don't know in serious danger."

Kauhanen and Arendsen intend to be more active with securing partnerships for Survive 25 over the next 12 months and are currently in discussions with a number of schools.

In addition to being passionate about young driver education, the couple also have a strong social conscience regarding the industry's landfill contribution. On Track Drift uses quality recycled tyres which are repurposed into floor mats and other accessories after being used for drifting.

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