Talladega Gran Prix Raceway Time Attack Event!

WHAT a great day. It started a little rough, with the track opening late, the ambulance coming late, and a mild disagreement about what direction to run, but went on BEAUTIFULLY.

It was such a great day, I don't even know where to begin. First, I suppose we should thank GADSM for organizing it, then John Swain for taking pictures and giving scary rides Then to Mere and Monk for their "Tally Taxis" for taking noobs around and showing them the line. Except of course for the fact that they both enter the Carousel HARD and the noobs tried that and TOTALLY blew the corner-exit

The Emory Sports Car Club was there with near 10 people. We (wrxatlanta) should get together with them, they were all cool people.

Anyway, to the important points; what I got to drive ;)

Viper, big and wide and great to drive. Those cars always surprise me at just how nicely they steer... The power is expected, and really not "obnoxious" very appropriate power for the grip, fortunately GREAT brakes also. Customer was eager to get into the driver's seat, so I only got a few laps, should have asked to take him out during lunch... oh well.

997 Carrera C2S. With springs, intake, exhaust, shifter, steering wheel upgrade, and ContiSport tires. WOW! WOW! WOW! This is Kim Wolfkill's (editor for Road and Track, Porsche Cup Racer, driven EVERYTHING under the sun) favorite car, and I understand why. This customer would have been happy to have me lap until it corded the tires.

Every time I get in one of these high-dollar, new, reputably "scary handling" cars I think, "I'm just going to ease it around, get on the right line, maybe push it a little in the U-turn and Skidpad." That generally lasts about a half a lap, sometimes less

By the time I exited Turn 2 (out lap), the customer said "Ha, you're already driving it faster than I was." On lap two he said "Wow, I was only using maybe 15% of this car." Exiting the U-Turn, lap two, I realize that this thing will slide the tail BEAUTIFULLY, no snapiness, no scariness, just very smooth progressive oversteer, it could be rotated nicely under-lift throttle, and then powered out of the corner, balancing the car with the throttle. Same thing in the skidpad, 10% thottle "breathes" tucked the car in nicely with no indication of the tail swinging ANY more than desired. Rolling into the throttle showed less under-steer than expected with a rear-engine, and a VERY nice on-throttle (obviously) corner exit. Also the nicest pedal placement I've ever had in a Porsche. As easy to Heel-and-Toe as an STi

So by lap 4 or so we're running pretty well and I give my standard "The car is WONDERFUL, I'm really enjoying driving it, this is pretty close to what it will run, I'm happy to do this all day, you just tell me when you want me to bring it in." He says, "No, this is great, keep going."

By lap 6 I'm sliding it into and through the Kink at near 90, and using 99% of the brakes going into the Carousel. The owner, TURNS IN HIS SEAT and starts talking to me about tires, brakes, car clubs, track time, etc. I mean, I'm hitting ABS going into the 1-2 combo at 110mph, and he's NOT EVEN LOOKING AT THE TRACK

Talk about a cool cat... anyway, the car was absolutely fabulous. I think the customer is going to bring his whole family to a school, and then we'll go to Barber and RA...

I'll do a write up about driving the C6 Vette, a SHOCKINGLY fun to drive RSX Type S A-Spec (yes a fwd...) S2k, and a few others later, gotta get back to work, but I had to share the 997 thing.


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