ESSENTIALS

25

Knowledge of How to Pilot a High-Performance Car Around a Track

Anyone can put the pedal to the metal on a straight, flat stretch of road, but it takes actual skill to bend an automobile to your will around series of hairpins. And, as anyone who's ever done it will tell you, it's flat-out fun.
Photo: AP

Now that's the look of a man who's earned his beer.

Driving a supercar on the freeway is easy. Thanks to adaptive all wheel drive and advanced stability control systems—not to mention the adjustable suspensions and manumatic paddle-shifted F-1 style gearboxes that come with your typical half-million dollar machine—hitting, say, 125 on a straight ribbon of highway takes little more than balls. Hitting 125 on a track takes skills. (And balls.)

But as the gentleman enjoying the Coors knew, it also happens to be a hell of a good time.

Just follow these two rules:

Get your braking done before the turn.
Your performance driving coach may blather on about the nuances of a particular corner’s apex, the car’s weight distribution, understeering and yada, yada, yada, but essentially he’s trying to tell you two simple things: break into a turn earlier than your instincts tell you—and get off the brake and back on the gas commensurately sooner as well.

Follow the trail of rubber.
Unless you’ve spent hours memorizing a track’s racing line on the ultra-realistic iracing.com simulator (even NASCAR guys do this), there’s no way you can internalize all of its kinks and curves in just a few laps. Just look for the streaks. It’s that simple.

But this is the most important thing to remember when driving a supercar that’s not yours, whether on a track or off: don’t hit your head while getting out of the thing.

Jesse Will, an editor at Maxim, “evaluates” dream cars for a living.

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