On a foggy chilly spring morning I fired up my VT, loaded up my small race kit, my paddock chair and took off for Pikes Peak International Raceway. An hour and fifteen minutes later I was passing through the gates and lining up in the FA staging lane to start the first round of the points championship series. I met with Mark Smith, a five time SCCA National Champion and my instructor for the day. This was his first time seeing the VT, we went over the modifications and the golden rule “turn off TCS before every run”.
After the drivers meeting we didn’t have much time to chat before our first run, I went up first, and spun on the first sweeper off the starting line. We made it back to the start line to swap drivers and Mark jumped in and ended up getting the best time of the firs runs with a 43 second run. The rest of the day he stayed in first in FA class with the VT a good half second above 2nd. I placed 7th with about 1.8 seconds between him and I.
I’ve never really spent any time with an instructor in the car and that 1.8 second gap between us was eye opening. That may not seem like a lot of time, but imagine you’re at the side of a finish line. Your nose is lined up with it perfectly. The first car comes flying past, triggers the confetti cannons, the checkered flag waves and the fireworks go off. As you see the nose of the first car crest past the finish line you start to count in your head. One… Tw- Before you can finish saying “two” 7th place has crossed the finish line. Between us 5 cars have also crossed the line. To say the least competition was tight, and hot, with everyone getting bounced from position to position with each run.
I learned a lot in those 40 second runs, dissecting the track, judging my steering input and most importantly where to go fast and when to go slow. We discussed braking technique and picking the perfect line. To say the least, it was the best day driving I have ever had.
We really got a chance to put the brakes through the paces on this track. It was technical and high speed at the same time. Plenty of hair pins after high speed sweepers and straights to really get deep into the brakes. We felt virtually no brake fade, or chatter the entire day of back to back runs. The brakes felt as strong as they did when we had just installed them.
Our CTS-V kit is incredibly capable on track, it is perfect for the street, and it will help you develop a proper technique on the track to drop your lap times in competition, autocross, or just open lapping.