[Video] SRT helps you hone the skills you need to drive our cars at the limit.
SRT vehicles are well-known for their ease-of-use and everyday drivability, but to get the most out of any precision machine, drivers must conquer a learning curve. The SRT Track Experience, included in the price of every new SRT vehicle, is a driver training program designed to help drivers harness the capability of these vehicles in a safe and controlled environment.
Four instruction modules train drivers to use the maximum braking, cornering and acceleration abilities engineered into every SRT vehicle. While these skills are best practiced on a race course, the lessons learned on-track can carry over to emergency situations on the street.
driveSRT.com invited Shawn Kaufman of the LX and Beyond Nationals, Michael Pitts of The Noisecast, Alex Villani of GMInsideNews and Walt Felix from Mopars in Motion to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey for a chance to improve their on-track acumen.
“I’ve never autocrossed or road course raced in my life,” Kaufman said. “All I’ve done is drag racing, but when I was going out on those last few laps, it made me gain a whole new level of respect for autocross and road racers I’ve never had before.”
Kaufman went on to win third place in the autocross challenge, which helps drivers work within the physical dimensions of a car. By the end of the day, Kaufman was ready for another round.
“I made my decision,” Kaufman said. “Now, I want to take my car out road racing more. I want to build my car now to go out to events like this.”
Though his podcast is focused on technology, Pitts knows the worlds of technophiles and car enthusiasts are converging. Pitts quickly learned to drive within the bounds of the Dodge Challenger SRT8’s aggressively tuned traction control system and won second place in the head-to-head competition.
“I own two Hemis,” Pitts said. “I’ve got a Ram 1500 and a Chrysler 300C. Never, in all the time that I’ve owned those vehicles, have I ever put them through anything like this. I’ve always loved driving them, but I have a whole new appreciation for them now that I never would’ve had.”
As Pitts mastered each module, he felt his confidence rise to match the cars’ capabilities.
“At the beginning of the day, I was a little worried that I might oversteer, understeer or take it off into the grass,” Pitts said. “After a few laps in all the vehicles, I just wanted to see how hard I could push. That was the best feeling — knowing that I could get in and push as hard as I can.”
Even seasoned champions will build their skills at the SRT Track Experience, because the program emphasizes seat time and one-on-one instruction. Equally important are the lasting social connections forged between drivers and instructors. A dedicated Facebook page maintained by SRT Track Experience staff serves as a social hub for alum to stay in touch.
“Not only are you teaching your owners to drive the car, but you’re connecting people,” Villani said. ”There was so much camaraderie between the owners and the driving instructors. That right there can make an owner for life.”
More information about track experience and the full event schedule can be found on the SRT Track Experience page.