Part one of a five-part series in which I explain how became a pretty good high-performance driver.
The first step in becoming a competent driver is getting the right car.
Until recently, I had a 2008 BMW 335i (manual, sport package) which I thought would’ve happily performed double-duty as family hauler and track companion, and perhaps could have. It had a backseat with room for Princess and glided across town and country with aplomb (and my Lord, didn’t its turbo six make me swoon), but there were reasons, all related, as to why it couldn’t serve as my ambassador to apex hunting mayhem. Girth, being the primary one. It was too damned heavy, which, along with muting its aliveness on-track, caused my Direzzas to wear at an alarming rate. True, I could’ve spent five grand on exhaust, suspension, and wheel upgrades and had quite the Gentlemanly Beast, yet that substantial outlay wouldn’t have made me a better driver. No. You need seat time for that.
I needed a car more reasonable to track. Something lithe and tossable, with a backseat for Princess. Were I rich man, my next words would have a cluster of 9s in them, as in “997 911” in Artic Silver with black leather interior. Alas, I am not a rich man. And so write, “Scion FR-S.”
Unimpressive, I know. Not even the Subaru version of the car. Still, it’s a gruff and tough little machine built for scooting around a racetrack. AND it’s cheap. A car that helps me become a better driver.
Image credit: Nate Stevens