Name: Mark Andrews
Occupation: Associate Director of a Building Services Consultancy Practice
Current Level: Advanced Driver and National Observer
How long have you been driving?
I didn’t pass my basic DVSA test until 1985 when I was 20 years old. I worked in a Portsmouth office at the time that was walking distance from home and so I never had the need or inclination to drive.
How long have you been an Advanced Driver?
I passed my Advanced Test 10 years ago with Alan Ware as my examiner. My test was made a little more interesting as I had a staff examiner on the back seat assessing Alan’s performance. I try to retain one piece of information from every drive with another professional and this is true of my test. I was driving in a National speed limit on the A272, a road that I had never driven before, and braked briefly before a bend that was not sign posted as a sharp deviation. Of course, Alan noticed and questioned my action during the debrief. I explained that “I didn’t know the road” so I braked assuming that the bend required a reduction in speed. His response was “drive on what you can see, not what you know”.
Why did you decide to take the test?
My ex-business partner was for some time, a Senior Observer with Solent Advanced Motorcyclists. I was driving 30,000 miles a year at the time and I was persuaded to consider improving my driving skills.
What was next?
Once I had passed my test, I joined the list of potential Observers with The Southampton Group and had to wait 12 months before my training commenced. I am now a National Observer, demonstration driver, run 5 Assessor and sit on the Southampton Groups committee as Chief Observer. I have also recently passed the Masters with Distinction. In addition, I am a member of the training team for the IAM RoadSmart Skills days and a participant in IAM RoadSmart marketing events, most recently at the Whiteley WI event.
What do you currently drive & what do you think of it?
I recently parted company with my Mk VII VW Golf Type R (manual transmission). It was a fabulous car to drive and I could debate at length whether there is a better all-round car on the road costing less than £30,000 pounds. On the 17 February I collected my affordable dream car from Porsche Tewksbury, a Cayman 718 S (PDK transmission). It makes me smile every time I turn the key in the ignition.
What bad habits of other drivers annoy you?
Not stopping at Red lights. There is a current trend for drivers to run Red lights that I see every day on the way to and from work.
What is your dream car / favourite car?
Dream car: I’ve been fortunate enough to have driven many of the exotic cars on the market including Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Aston Martins and Porsches. Top of my lottery winning want list was an Aston Martin V12 Vantage. However, my mind was changed forever on the Silverstone GP circuit last year where I was awarded Audi driver of the day. If you want the thrill of a lifetime and have the opportunity to do so, you must get behind the wheel of an Audi R8 V10 plus.
Favourite car: Porsche Cayman 718 S. It’s an everyday supercar and you cannot go through life without owning a Porsche.