This past week end I had the exciting experience of tracking my car for the first time at Texas World Speedway and I thought I might share some of my thoughts with everyone. Although I had attended several tracking events and races over the years, it is vastly different to actually get on the track with an instructor and get to the point of driving the car fast. First of all, reading about apexes, turn in and braking points, etc, is far different from actually doing it. Furthermore, autocrossing and watching racing doesn’t help either. Now there are several things I would like to share.
1. It is DIFFERENT being at an event with other NSXes and tracking my car than just being there as a spectator. It is much more exciting to talk about what we and our cars are dong in certain corners and under different conditions. It is not the same thing as sharing a beer or dinner with part of the regional group.
2. This point is for those of you who have garage queens. i would advise everyone who owns an NSX to track it at least once. Saturday afternoon, one of my instructors took me around very fast to show me what the car could doing. I have NEVER been around corners like that before. Furthermore, by Sunday afternoon, I was driving my NSX in a way that would have impressed the hell out of me Saturday morning. Powering through a left hand corner hitting the apex and then drifting to the right as I was coming out of the corner even though the steering wheel was still turned to the left is something you have to see and feel to believe let alone understand. Now the point of this is not to try to convince you that after one event I know how to drive well. To the contrary, I learned so much that it became apparent how little about driving fast that I really knew before and what little skill that I have now. I now have so much more respect for CART and F1 drivers. But I digress, for those (most) of us who drive only on the street and who have never had any high speed driving instruction have NEVER had a chance to see what really makes our car special. We know it is because the magazines say so,but you don't know what it really means unless you experience a little bit of it. I have so much more respect and admiration for my car now. Lots of people cam by a looked at the NSXes in the garage area. But I am sure they looked at them with the same uninformed look that I used to.
3. All three of my instructors found reasons (excuses??) for driving my car to "show me" something. Of course for the first few laps of the first day the instructors always drove the car first. But later, it was clear that the other two instructors hadn't driven and NSX before and wanted to see what it was like. All of my instructors race with the Porsche club and/or SCCA. All three had very high praise for the way that my NSX handled.
Finally, I just have more appreciation for my NSX than I did before. It can get a little crazy. After the track event was over on Sunday afternoon I stopped by the grocery store on my way home. At one point I found myself using the edge of the frozen food case as the apex for negotiating my cart, so maybe I got a little carried away. But you know, if I had sold my car without that track experience I would have never known what a really great car the NSX is. I am one of the oldest NSX owners and I use my car as a daily driver so I can't afford to get it messed up. The NSX is a strong car and even old guys can get out there and enjoy it. members of the NSX Southcentral Region have been trying to get me to do this for over a year. Why didn't I listen? So now my advice is: Try it, you'll like it.