Kristian Grimsland
Associate Editor, Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
January 3, 2014
Photos By: Marc Christ
9. Before any type of racing, it’s always a good idea to change your oil. We used seven quarts of Comp Cams 10W-30 synthetic engine oil for our 4.6L Four-Valve engine.
10. Once we arrived on track, we swapped our street shoes for some racing ones. We had a set of Steeda Ultra-Lite wheels with Nitto NT05 road race tires sitting in the back of our warehouse, so we swapped those on. A road-race–specific tire is made of softer compound compared to a street version. This will allow us better grip and handling for the track.
11. First, we needed to go through a technical inspection. Inspectors make sure components such as your battery are held down properly, that there are no loose items in your vehicle, and that your safety helmet is up to proper specifications.
12. Once finished with inspection, we made our way over to the 8 a.m. drivers meeting. There, owner and lead instructor Jeff Lacina explained all the rules for that day’s event.
13. For the beginner and novice groups, it is required that you attend several classroom sessions throughout the day. Lacina coordinated the classroom sessions. Here he used a Mustang model to explain how a Mustang’s geometry and physics work under acceleration, braking, and cornering.
14. I was anxious to get on track, but before we could begin, beginners and novice drivers were paired up with an instructor. Mitch Sirlin (left) of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, would be schooling your author on how to drive.
15. Instructor Sirlin set me up with a headset so he could talk to me throughout the session. As you can tell, your author is endowed with a big head and chubby cheeks. (Save the laughter for later.)
16a. Making our way through the pits, we entered Sebring’s road course.
16b. Making our way through the pits, we entered Sebring’s road course.
17. When out on the road course, its important to remember that you’re out there to be coached, so listen with an open ear to your instructor. Sirlin explained the rules and etiquette of being on track to me. Every lap gave me more experience with the 17-turn course, and eventually I was able to nail every apex. Try and remember, this isn’t a race—it’s about having fun and improving your driving technique.
18. Saturday afternoon, all Mustang racers lined up on the front straight for a 50th Anniversary photo. It was an amazing weekend of on-track fun, and your author certainly learned a lot. I was forewarned by many that I might become addicted to open track racing. I can attest to that statement—my passion for the 1,320 may be on hold for a while.