~ by Daniel Demaras ~
I was really excited when arriving at Shannonville Motorsports Park. Confident too. I knew the track pretty well from racing the modified ‘Nelson Circuit’ in karts this summer, and the ‘Fabi Circuit’ in Anthony Simone’s NASCAR Pinty’s Series race car in 2020.
But then I saw the cars I would be sharing the track with, and I got worried. A Porsche 911 GT3, a resto-mod Mercury Cougar, and two NASCAR racecars. Could my Subaru even keep up with these guys?
But the Brack crew put me at ease. Cars were separated into different groups based on vehicle speed and driver experience. I would be on track with other new guys looking to get their racing licenses, not professionals.
In the morning we performed some exploratory laps, and my coach Ken helped me feel comfortable right away. Despite the car being a 2003, it held up fine, and I gained confidence with every lap.
Before lunch we shifted gears and went to the skid pad. The circular track was soaked with a firefighters hose so we wouldn’t burn up our tires as we explored the limit of grip. RWD Camaros tried to turn oversteer into four wheel drifts, while FWD Hondas understeered right off the track. I was totally impressed with my WRX. No traction control, no problem. The car just has so much grip!
In the afternoon lapping session, my gas gauge was beyond empty, and we had to refuel. I took the opportunity during the break to watch the experienced drivers applying the techniques Ken was teaching me.
During the final session, Ken watched my driving from outside the car. Though I was a little nervous to drive without an instructor at first, as soon as I started turning laps, it felt great. I had a proper understanding of the track from the time spent with Ken, and I could focus on driving fast and having fun.
My day with Brack Driving Concepts was a success. My coach Ken gave me the green light to move on to the next step in acquiring my Regional Racing License; the race procedures written test. I may only be a road racing rookie, but after this day, I am filled with confidence!