Sonnet becomes the official insurer and presenter of the Académie du Guide de l’auto
Patrick Benoit in front of the official vehicle of the Académie du Guide de l’auto in Sonnet Insurance’s colours.

To celebrate the launch of our new partnership with the Académie du Guide de l’auto, we sat down with Patrick Benoit, a professional pilot and host of a series loved by car fans of all ages for close to 10 years.

Once again, you’ll be able to learn more about driving and maintaining a car thanks to various seasoned experts on TVA, TVA Sports and the TVA+ platform. At the same time, you’ll discover a new side of your favourite stars as they don racing overalls to drive circles around a racing track.

As the 7th season of the Académie du Guide de l’auto prepares to launch, Patrick Benoit played along, opened up and answered our questions. Enjoy!

1. What’s your favourite thing about hosting the Académie du Guide de l’auto?

Having fun while working hard and being thorough. Honestly, meeting personalities of the artistic world in an environment that gets them out of their comfort is also very enjoyable! Their reaction is very important to me. Going as fast as possible in a racing track can be really fun. Let’s not forget that this show gives me the opportunity to promote reducing greenhouse gas emissions!

2. Why should we absolutely not miss the most recent season of the Académie du Guide de l’auto?

Because we keep getting better at it! Because there are more electric cars to discover, and because the guests have a great time. You’ll see it, AND hear it!

3. After all these years, are you still learning things about driving and the auto industry?

Absolutely! The auto industry is constantly evolving. Over the last few years, there have been great changes to cars. The green shift gives us a new way to manage our trips, plus it brings new technologies. Let’s not forget about autonomous driving, which we should and must get familiar with.

4. What were your most memorable moments on the set?

There are so many that I forget and it’s hard to pinpoint just one. I hesitate between the nausea I get while driving at full speed in the Sonnet car with my guests, and the appreciation I get from people that ride in an electric car for the first time and experience its full acceleration power.

5. What was your favourite car of the season?

Each car was great. But I like luxury and, on the track, it’s hard to do better than the electric Porsche Taycan!

6. What’s your connection with cars in your personal life?

I would say I have a healthy and balanced relationship with cars. I like cars, but I’ve always liked being a pilot as well. That being said, it’s important for me to have more than one passion, so cars are not my main focus.

7. What type of driver are you in your daily life?

More careful than before — they say it’s wisdom. Still, I get insulted when drivers don’t follow rules or forget that having a driver’s permit is a PRIVILEGE. And, like many, I get impatient with people that don’t know when to use the left lane. Allow me to get on my soapbox to remind them that the left lane is intended for PASSING! ;)

8. What’s your best memory behind the wheel?

It’s actually quite recent! I just went on a family road trip to Florida, in a Tesla! I drove the whole time, both ways, with help from a driver-assistance system. Tesla’s is particularly effective.

9. What was your first car?

I hesitated a long time between my grandfather’s brown Datsun B210 and other cars, but I settled for a 1981 Honda Civic that I fixed up. I didn’t have a lot of money, so I bought the car for $800 and some paint for a couple of hundred dollars. I learned to do a little body work on the job to remove some rust, putty and repaint. Back then, YouTube did not exist!

Patrick Benoit is a paid Sonnet spokesperson.
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