Entries in track day (8)


Video Analysis, anyone?

So here is a clip of my fastest lap:

Here is a lap where I was cleaner, took a better line through the left hander, but somehow was nearly a second slower?  Could tire temp have anything to do with this?  The fastest lap I ran was at the end of the session, but this lap was at the start.



Track Day moment of Zen

I had a brilliant day at Lime Rock on Monday. I hope to get the video up soon. Here's a shot from the video, coming out of the lefthander.


Automobiliac Reviews the SCC Track Experience

A while back I wrote about my experience with Gotham Dream Car Sprint. If you recall, they allow you to drive exotic cars around an autocross track at the Meadowlands Stadium for a fee. I found that experience to be fun but rather limited. Well, thanks to that review, I was recently invited to try out a different kind of exotic car rental, from the folks at Signature Car Collection (SCC).  The biggest of the many differences between these two experiences is that SCC holds their events a proper race track. They rent out the Pocono Raceway (about 2 hours from NYC), using one of the very good infield circuits that makes part use of the NASCAR oval.  The choice of cars is the F360, the Gallardo, the Audi R8, or the Maserati MC Stradale. If you want to pay extra for the ride of your life, you can upgrade to a Murcielago or the Ferrari 16M Scuderia.I chose the R8 because it had a tubi exhaust that sounded positively intoxicating, and I had always been curious what it’s like to drive. Let me tell you, there is no comparison between Pocono Raceway and a bunch of cones in a parking lot! The track is really ideal for a novice because it is relatively flat, open, and there is nothing to hit. You can safely explore the cars here, and when you drop the hammer as you enter the NASCAR banking, you can really feel the acceleration of the cars all the way into the triple digits. Likewise, when it is time to exit the banking, you can truly experience their incredible braking power and the way the suspension handles the transition back to the infield. The whole track was recently repaved, so Pocono’s reputation for bumpiness is now a distant memory. All that remains is billiard table smooth pavement well suited to a modern supercar. And although there are no balls-out, terrifying corners like one finds at Lime Rock or Watkins Glen, I would consider that a good thing in this case. You can really focus on enjoying the car and getting comfortable without worrying about blind brows, weird cambers, or lack of runoff. The corners in the infield section are a challenging mix of bends, most of them late apex and fairly fast, with one hairpin that has a widening exit, challenging you to get on the gas as early as you dare. What I thought really sets SCC apart, other than the setting of a proper race track, is the staff. The attention the customer receives is a lot more personal, and the owners of the company even got in on the fun, driving the cars as well. In other words, the people at SCC love to drive as much as their customers-- and their enthusiasm is contagious. It was also a lot more social, with everybody chatting away about the cars between sessions. In that respect, I found that the atmosphere was more laid back, but also more exclusive. Amenities like a provided lunch and sitting area make the experience a whole lot more pleasant.  And although SCC takes safety seriously, I liked that there was no boring legalese involved in the process of getting behind the wheel. You sign the waiver and get a few minutes of talk, but I think they realize that most people who would drive out to Pocono to have a track experience are not complete neophytes. In fact, talking to most of the other customers, a lot of them owned other exotics or had interesting cars of their own. This brings me to the newest offering from SCC that I got very excited about: They now let you arrange to track your own car at their events. Tuesday June 25th is their first “BYO” event and it just kills me that I can’t go up there with the Dino due to scheduling conflicts. But our friend Raphael from Jalopnik will be there and we expect a full report! I think this new style of event will be a lot of fun, because it is less hardcore and less crowded than a typical track day through NASA or SCDA, but with plenty of track time in a more laid back environment—plus food!As with any exotic rental, it isn’t exactly cheap. The value proposition is really up to you and your priorities. But if you are going to plunk down the cash to rent an exotic car and want to do so in a place where you can drive flat out with no fear of traffic or police, I really think SCC makes a really solid case. Here is the info for the upcoming  event. There may be a few spaces left at the last second:

1. Track your own car- $500 for 3 to 4- 20 minute sessions. 3-4 sessions pending on time.

2. Pack-1 $200- 1 car and 4 laps (on request, you have options of Ferrari 360 Spider, Audi R8, Lamborghini Gallardo or Maserati MC Stradale.)

**If you want to complete Pack-1 to drive a16M or LP640, you can upgrade to these cars for $350.

3. Pack 2- $450- 2 cars- 10 laps (Ferrari 360 Spider, Audi R8, Lamborghini Gallardo or Maserati MC Stradale)

** 4. Pack 3- $750- 2 cars (Ferrari 16M Scuderia & Lamborghini LP640) 12 laps

Full details HERE



No Caption Needed

hat tip to Rob


Some pics from Summit Point

A friendly fellow named Louis Alessi was kind enough to share with me some of the photos he took at the track day. The Gray Milano is my buddy Rob's sleeper track car.  Thanks a bunch Louis!

Photo Credit: Louis Alessi