Sunday, April 20, 2008

Long Beach Grand Prix

This weekend, I was given the opportunity to drive one of the pace cars for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. First of all, I want to thank Mr. Tanaka for even trusting me to drive for the grand prix. I had tons of fun!
There were 5 Toyota Camrys prepared for us, a Lexus IS350, GS350, and a Scion tC.
I drove the Camry first and noticed its spectacular cornering ability. It turned!!
I thought to myself, "Man, for a family car, this car hauls".

Then i tried the Lexus IS350. Ah...a Rear wheel drive.

I was told not to go drifting but a little tail slide wouldn't hurt right?
Well...I went a little over the edge and it hurt.

I came drifting through corner 6 and 7. At the entry of corner 8, I braked, causing a heavy oversteer and i tapped the tire wall. It wasn't a bad hit but the fact that i crashed a pace car wasn't good.

So i went back to the camry for the rest of the day and had more fun giving ride-alongs to the Grand Prix's VIP people.

Then came Saturday. I knew toyota wouldn't be too happy if i hopped into the IS350 again so this time, I went back to the Camry. During the vip ride along session, I was behind another pace car driving full speed through the front straight. In front of me was another pace car. As we were approaching the braking zone, I noticed his car was not slowing down. A fish tail happened following a crash full speed into the tire wall in the run off area. "WTF?" Brake Failure..

So he had a passenger and they were both confirmed to be ok.

What a scary experience.

We called it a day.

Today, instead of driving the Camry again, I wanted to try something new.
Ahhh...The GS350. Driving this car made me want one. So we did the pace car lap for the Champ Car Grand Prix and i was amazed. I wish drifting events would one day be like a Grand Prix event.


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