Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

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Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by nubrocket on Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:46 pm

I sort of forgot about this. Awhile ago we got word that Cadillac was running a FREE "V-Series Performance Lab" event, aka "Marketing Marketing Marketing Marketing", on the new Formula 1 track. Just had to call them up, pick a day, and that's it. You get to drive their CTS-V series cars on the track. Today is my day!

I am entirely positive that nothing could possibly go wrong.


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Re: Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by marmuttlebow on Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:09 pm

Congrats you lucky bastid. I iz jello-c.

Remember, check your brake points and aim for the apex of the curve. I expect pics. Ideally we'd have a vid of you in car sceeamin like a little girl.

Somehow, I've got the image of Darrell Waltrip in the Aussie v8. I will post the link when I get home.
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Re: Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by nubrocket on Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:15 pm

They'll have the digital braking line, right? I...I kinda like having that.

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Re: Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by marmuttlebow on Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:28 pm

Nah, real world they got people dressed ad pylons.
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Re: Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by beefsupreme42 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:29 pm

nubrocket wrote:They'll have the digital braking line, right? I...I kinda like having that.
yeah they have little elves on the track (possibly smurfs) that are constantly painting little triangles on the track... thats a lot of smurfs. not quite digital, but I suppose it does the trick

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Re: Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by Rickenbacker01 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:42 pm

beefsupreme42 wrote:
nubrocket wrote:They'll have the digital braking line, right? I...I kinda like having that.
yeah they have little elves on the track (possibly smurfs) that are constantly painting little triangles on the track... thats a lot of smurfs. not quite digital, but I suppose it does the trick

Interesting, how does the braking line work?
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Re: Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by Rickenbacker01 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:47 pm

Oh Nub, you lucky bastard, hope you have a blast.
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Re: Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by joekorn on Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:52 pm

That sounds pretty awesome nub, let us know how it goes!

I've had the same thoughts on the braking line. Have been debating on whether to buy tickets to drive an IndyCar on the Brickyard. (http://indyracingexperience.com/t-DriveIndyCar.aspx). They have had several 50% or so off specials, but I'd have to hope they didn't measure me with shoes on. I've been more concerned about totaling the car though, no doubt I'd be hammering it on the straights with no idea where to start braking...

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Re: Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by BiggLou55 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:24 pm

Wow... Nice!!

I saw some of the track on the Jessie James episode where he build the ride-a-long track car for them in his Austin Speed Shop... Here's hoping it make it into FM5!!! Wink

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Re: Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by beefsupreme42 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:30 pm

Rickenbacker01 wrote:
beefsupreme42 wrote:
nubrocket wrote:They'll have the digital braking line, right? I...I kinda like having that.
yeah they have little elves on the track (possibly smurfs) that are constantly painting little triangles on the track... thats a lot of smurfs. not quite digital, but I suppose it does the trick

Interesting, how does the braking line work?
they paint it red as fast as they can

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Re: Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by Rickenbacker01 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:01 pm

beefsupreme42 wrote:
Rickenbacker01 wrote:
beefsupreme42 wrote:
nubrocket wrote:They'll have the digital braking line, right? I...I kinda like having that.
yeah they have little elves on the track (possibly smurfs) that are constantly painting little triangles on the track... thats a lot of smurfs. not quite digital, but I suppose it does the trick

Interesting, how does the braking line work?
they paint it red as fast as they can

Wouldn't they get run over at some point?
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Re: Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by nubrocket on Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:06 pm

Took lots of pics and some video. I'll try and upload them tonight. The whole experience was amazing and I cannot believe it was FREE. Best car commercial ever.

In a few days I get the video of me in the CTS-V. I know I got damn close to 140 but I won't know until the video if I hit it. Overall I feel I did really well.

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Re: Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by beefsupreme42 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:24 am

sounds awesome. I can't wait to see the pictures

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Re: Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by shinnsoon on Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:37 am

Based on the F1 race there, it looks like a great track. Glad you had fun Very Happy

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Re: Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by nubrocket on Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:11 am

Driving into the circuit was a bit surreal, and more exciting than I expected. The place just looks great. As I was pulling in I started to understand the scale of the event. Where I was expecting a bunch of assholes just waiting in line all day to drive 1 car once around the track, there were actually LOTS of CTS-Vs and ATS's sitting around, getting cleaned and prepped to go. I found a place to park and made my way to the event reception area.

At the door were two CTS-Vs to greet everyone.




In the reception area they had food, coffee, and tables for everyone. Even this was impressive.



We were split up into groups, depending on the color of our lanyard. Then each color lanyard was divided again by means of wrapping a colored wristband around it. We learned soon after than our combination of black & green was the optimal group, as we rotated through the entire event in an order of "class then drive", starting at the "bottom" with the new ATS's. Our last event would be the main event, the CTS-V Coupe drive.

We piled into a line of ATS's and headed for where we were to drive them.




The classes were small and were formatted in two halves. The first half was informative, whether going into detail about how the ATS was constructed to the definition of understeer & oversteer and how to deal with it. The first class with the ATS was the only one that felt like a Cadillac ad, as they went into detail about why that car is so great. Admittedly, it does sound great.



We then drove ourselves back, again by means of the ATS's, and piled into another classroom. This time it was oversteer and understeer, and the beginning of a single point every instructor would drive home everytime they had a chance to speak. I noticed it was the same point that Fraid and Marm drove into me during our last practice session.

Look where you want to go. If you're looking at the tree you don't want to hit, you'll hit the tree. Look where you want to go and your body will do the work to make it happen.

I knew from Forza how surprisingly true this was, so I let their repetitive words sink in to solidify the idea even more.

After this class it started to get really awesome. We were moved into the pit lane, hanging outside the team garages, watching the CTS-V cars get driven out by other groups. We also got to get hands on with Andy Pilgrim's racing Cadillac, as well as meet the guy and talk to him. He's pretty much the nicest guy ever and he seemed genuinely excited to be there with us.

I also made a point to take a leak in Lewis Hamilton's pit garage bathroom. I've peed where he has peed.









This modded CTS was also out there, though I'm not sure why. I thought it looked like a Klingon.


Before long we were instructed to grab a headsock and helmet and meet with the instructor whose name appeared on our lanyard. My guy was named Bryan and I thought he was a riot. I still can't get over how calm and "OK" these guys are around newbs driving fast cars.



The first run was in a Sedan or Wagon. To be honest I don't remember which I drove in, I just know I had an immense amount of fun. G-Forces are delightful and I thought that feeling a REAL rumble strip was very memorable. Yes I got on the rumble strip a time or two, intentionally, just enough to get my apex. If it were Forza the lap would still be clean!

From this point forward I was in another state of happy and I stopped taking as many photos. I was just enjoying the moment.

We went to our last class which was...interesting. The guy was a driving school instructor who more or less said we've never taken a car to 100% before, because outside of a racetrack you rarely need to. As a result, none of us could be sure how we'd react in a real work situation where we needed to use 100% brake or regain control of a car gone rogue. He said again and again that we should consider a real driving school to learn this stuff.

Then we went out and did our CTS-V Coupe run. This run is entirely caught on video, with vehicle telemetry and (I believe) both internal and external cameras. We'll get the link for our videos in a few days, and I'll certainly post it here when I get it.

The last photo I took, getting ready to start the CTS-V Coupe run.



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Re: Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by nubrocket on Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:25 am

Some videos.

The ATS course started with a drag race requiring a hard stop within the designated area.

The second portion was an "emergency swerve test". You had to accelerate and then twitch-swerve the direction that the instructor barked out.

Lastly you had to slalom through 3 cones.

The ATS Course

Meanwhile, behind us, the group who started with the CTS-V runs were roaring around the track.

Poor group doing the best thing first

Lastly, watching the CTS-Vs run up the hill for turn 1 while we waited for our turn.

I think I can I think--oh I got this

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Re: Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by marmuttlebow on Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:48 am

nubrocket wrote:
I also made a point to take a leak in Lewis Hamilton's pit garage bathroom. I've peed where he has peed.

Read the whole thing, this was my take-away. LOL

I will repeat what I said. You lucky bastid.

Glad you had fun. Glad to hear you hitting apex's as well. Now take that and apply it to Forza. And give yourself a go at that Sonoma Rivals challenge. Now that you've met Andy, time to kick his ass Sea Bass. (I say this yet I can't do it. I don't know where to find 4 seconds).
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Re: Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by BiggLou55 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:07 pm

I love the pics and the video.... Great stuff! Glad you had a good time!

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Re: Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by marmuttlebow on Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:23 pm

joekorn wrote:Have been debating on whether to buy tickets to drive an IndyCar on the Brickyard. (http://indyracingexperience.com/t-DriveIndyCar.aspx). ...

If you can get in with some DD cars (be it Mini, Lexus or Cadillac etc), go for it. As for that thing, I'd find something smaller, less powerful (like Formula Mazda if ever offered). I'd imagine (and I don't mean to sound bitter) that they've crippled the cars you get to drive. And then when you ride with the driver, he goes full out. But this is an assumption on my part.
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Re: Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by Rickenbacker01 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:59 pm

That's awesome Nub, great photos.
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Re: Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by nubrocket on Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:41 pm

My friend and I have decided that next year we're doing this. We're both still abuzz from yesterday.

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Re: Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by xraydash on Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:49 pm

What a great experience! Thanks for sharing, nub. I'm jealous!!
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Re: Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by beefsupreme42 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:55 pm

this sounds like so much fun. it definitely brings up the question of how old I have to be to get a racing license (I think 18 but I'm not sure...) because pushing a car like that, or almost any car for that matter, to its limits would be an amazing experience.

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Re: Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by Lowflyinmx3 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:27 pm

Just out of curiosity how do you find out about stuff like this? I would love to have a chance to do something like this.

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Re: Driving on the Circuit of the Americas today!

Post by nubrocket on Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:00 pm

We lucked out. Guy at work heard about it from a friend of his. All we had to do was call a phone number and register. We were confused and skeptical, but decided we didn't have much to lose.

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