Archive for June, 2009
Track driving – if you’ve never experienced it you simply have no idea what you’re missing out on. This past Saturday I had a track event at Pocono Raceway doing some instructing. My student was my buddy Brian in his girlfriends 2006 Acura TL. About a month earlier he had expressed interest in hitting the track and asked if I could help out – obviously the answer was yes, as I live for track days. He was concerned however about the car, that being the aforementioned Acura. In all honesty, I was pretty curious myself as to how Acura’s sporty 4-door would run.
Brian picked me up at about 5:30am and we drove the 90 miles up to Pocono Raceway. The Acura was actually pretty cool – typical Acura/Honda build quality, nice comfy seats as well as having the added bonus of being a six-speed. Now at any track event you are bound to find all manner of automobile from full-on race cars, to highly tuned street cars, to everyday daily drivers like the one we were in. In fact the only modification done to this TL were a set of aftermarket rims and this only due to some type of mishap that involved a curb and some over-anxious maneuvering. Oh yeah, the tires were mismatched as well. We had Toyo’s up front and Falken’s in the rear, not too sure why though.
Upon entrance onto the track the first thing I noticed was that this thing was WAY to quiet. In fact my buddy bounced it off the rev. limiter a few times, in fact so did I… whoops. Suspension wise I have to say that the TL actually handled great. Coming off the back straight and pitching it into turn one at 90mph resulted in very little drama, in fact I was actually able to pull down a C5 Corvette… I’ll pat myself on the back for that one… but in all seriousness, this thing moved. We managed to run 5 full sessions with the TL, each time beating it to death harder and harder. My buddy Brian was merciless on it, doing full throttle power shifts out of every turn, it was actually a pretty funny sight to behold.
By the end of the day though I think the ole’ TL was pretty tired. The brake pedal was wicked spongy and we totally fragged what was left of the tires, but we did manage to have a hell of a lot of fun. In the end, the best part was that the Acura, even though a full street car, got my buddy hooked on track driving to the point that he is now actively seeking a new ride. Ladies and gentlemen, if you have ever thought about going on the race track, but thought, for whatever reason you couldn’t do it, I am here to tell you that you are wrong. It’s easy, relatively inexpensive and something that I can guarantee will fulfill that adrenaline rush that we all seek.