July 23, 2012

Stepping Up Our Speed

As if we didn't attack the track in combat fashion the first day, we rocked on the second day behind the wheel of the school's ultra-grippy FR500S racer.

Adding a second (or third or fourth) day to the Track Attack is available to all students, and provides an increased level of instruction and of course more track time. Spending four days at Miller Motorsports Park can net you an actual competition racing license, too.

The FR500S is a real-deal racer with amazing grip, braking and handling. Powered by a tweaked 325hp Three-Valve engine, the S197 scoots with cat-like reflexes, thanks to a serious weight reduction and fully enhanced suspension.

Like day one, we began with a classroom discussion, and once we progressed to the garage area, we were fitted to the seat and oriented with the Mustangs and its systems. The FR500S is straightforward-- featuring a gutted interior that's filled with a rollcage, Sparco seat, and the usual gaggle of switches and gauges. Once we had the seat adjusted and the window net up, we felt like a bonafide racecar driver and were cautiously excited to take on the faster West track.

At 2.2 miles, the West course is made up of sweeping turns connected by some nice straights. With turns named Scream, Demon, and Devil, you can bet it was challenging and very fast. Session by session I gained confidence--and speed as well. There were a few sections that gave me trouble, but with some instruction, I backed up my braking point, slowed my entry, and was able to turn in sooner and thus drove a better line and carried much more speed on exit.

I ended the event running wheel-to-wheel with my new pal, Ron Patrick, an F-16 fighter pilot by day, and we captured some amazing video that you can check out at www.musclemustangfastfords.com. After two days at MMP, I can honestly say I was ready for two more days. The entire staff is accommodating and the facility is top shelf. I came away with the experience of the lifetime and will hopefully return in the future.

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