I told myself "Oh, I’ll just watch my buddy race his Miata." Then I said "Well, maybe I’ll go out on one of the fun runs and kinda take it easy." Then, "Well, I’m don’t have any numbers, and I’m not putting shoepolish on the windows, so I can’t race." Then the chairman of the region said, "Come on, you’ve gotta run, its an NSX! Everyone here is dying to see that thing on the track. Don’t worry about numbers, I think we’ll remember which one it is!" And that was all it took.

An hour later, I was on my first run (lucky I went ahead and brought my helmet! heh heh). I was very concerned starting out. Previously, I had autocrossed a Miata, which is a little bullet that is absolutely a dream to race. What was the NSX going to be like? I mean, its big, it can’t possibly maneuver like a Miata. It has no low-end torque, and the tracks are too compact to really get in the power band. How was I ever going to compete?

The verdict: AWESOME!!!!

Oh my god, what am I doing? This is an exotic car, this isn’t some Nova that I can just throw up on blocks in my driveway, this is a precision-tuned, ultra-sensitive exotic car, and it does not want, or deserve to be treated this way. This is like taking a bulemic to a four-star restaurant. Oh well, I’m racing, so I might as well do it right. That means, unlike everyone else, first shot out of the hole is at 11/10ths. I’m not like most autocrossers, I like to run way too fast on the first run, and figure out where the real danger is. Then you back off in the sections that didn’t work. But in the sections that did work, you’re miles ahead of the other guys. Holy mother of god this thing understeers, oversteers, and four-wheel floats. But its all completely controllable.

At the end of the day, my aggregate handicapped score put me in 4th place among normal cars (non-formula cars). 1st place went to a guy I know with an RX-7 Twin Turbo who is a veteran autcrosser, and one of the best drivers I’ve ever seen. Ditto for 2nd place and the guy in the 944. When it was all said and done, my FTD was exactly 2 seconds behind the guy in 1st place, which with my inexperience, absolutely amazed me. I’ll take that anyday!

At the Track
Track Tales