I always wanted to try American style racing with pure American style cars.
Well, as it always happens, you create your own opportunities… This is what happened yesterday at Daytona… driving at around 265 km/h is incredible fun and even relaxing even if there were some quite different driving aspects that I was not used to (speed not a problem).
Weirdest thing: the incredible set-up to pull on the left that you feel mostly in the straight… the high banks (around 31 degrees) are very interesting: they push to go flat-out right away even if, when you realise the strength of that continuos pull in the straight, you become thereafter more cautious to make sure you don’t mess up in the straight ending up too close to the wall for the next entrance and exit.
The instructor Robert Portano was great and as we can see at some times I got him a little scared because of my hi banks exits… 😉 I am sure he played a little bit with the power tool to cool me down (and it could be rightly so even if during the last two laps – basically we got six overall excluding the warm up and cool down ones – I felt more and more comfortable also with the seating position not easy to adjust to (many people and of all different sizes jump in) I felt either crammed or too much laying back… much better to be crammed with this kind of cars and tracks 😉 and that is what I picked.
Overall just need to learn to: foot down all over (done that) work well the wheel in the very unnatural way to many (got better and better) and keep the right lines (got better and better). If I had listened to Rusty (crew chief) and added right away some more laps (why not a credit card swipe right in the car 😉 ) I would have reached the very top of the car given car potential (set to no go over 170 mph for insurance purposes).
Overall a great experience. The Richard Petty Driving Experience is no doubt a unique program driven by focusing on Pure Speed matched by Entertainment and Safety for all! Only in America! 😉 (at least for now…)