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I just got back from a stop on the BFG Kick Asphalt Tour in Wilmington, DE. We drove the Jetta 1.8T, Lexus IS300 and Nissan 350Z.

We drove on two smallish course laid out via cones parking lot B. We first drove the Jetta (3 cars, 3 different tire setups)(BFG Traction TA, Dunlop SPA2 and Toyo Proxes TPT). The lot was still wet in parts from last nights rain, so I couldn't get a good read on at-the-limit adhesion. 3 laps in each car (9 laps total). The turbos, however, were quite obvious over a standard Jetta. They all had a little turbo lag, but once they kicked in...HOLD ON!

(verdict: Toyos SUCK, SPA2 and Traction TA close battle for best, but I'd go with the SPA2 for predictability)

Second, we drove the IS300 (same deal, 3 cars, 3 different tires, 3 laps each)(BFG G-Force KDW, Yokohama AVS Sport, Bridgestone RE-750) on the same course. Still a little wet, but more fun than the Jetta. RWD is so much fun. They even had a tight right-hander wet down with sprinklers to test wet cornering ability. Of the 3 tires we tested, ALL exhibited a lot of "push" or undertseer in the wet. So I took to slowing down before the turn and then hammering the gas about half way in...WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!! The rear starts to slide before the traction control kicks in and modulates the ABS and throttle. But it was fun while it lasted.

(verdict: Bridgestone=overpriced crap, winner for at-the-limit wet...AVS Sport, winner for at-the-limit dry...KDW)

Last, and MOST fun, the 350Z. All equipped with the BFG G-Force KD. Wow...just...wow. What a car and what a tire. Because of the light poles in the lot, the course was much shorter than the standard layout they use. However, because of the small class size, we had more seat time/laps. First run, 8 warmup laps. It's fun to watch 3 of the cars on the course (14.5-15.8 second laps, like I said, SHORT course) at the same time. 2 bright blue and 1 black Z all squealing tires...oh what fun! After the warmup laps, the professional driver drove each student around 3 laps to discuss the proper line, apex, brake and steering points, etc... The 2nd lap was a little faster and his 3rd lap was all out. He does this every day, same cars, so he was "pretty good" (needless to say). A couple guys got out of the passenger seat looking a little whiter than when they got in! Then, 3 more warmup laps with the info from the instructer-driven laps, and 2 timed laps for prizes. Well, I only came in 5th place (my game was off a little today, I USUALLY win these things), but I got a K2 Biosonic backpack for my troubles. The overall winner (.5 seconds ahead of me) won a backpack and a 64MB Digisette MP3 player. Cool prizes for a fun day at the track.

As for a review of the 350, we kept them in 1st gear the whole time. They are VERY responsive and have a high cornering limit (thanks partially to the BFG tires). The seats are very comfortable and do an excellent job of holding you in place for hard cornering. Engine? Sweet! Exhaust? Great sound! Interior? I suppose I could drive it every day ;-)

All in all, a very exciting, adrenaline pumping day. Beat some cars, got a prize, free lunch.

If I was in a position to do so, I would buy a 350 based on today's runs.

Did I mention I love the tire business?!?!
 

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Congratulations. I just read the post and I wish I could get an opportunity like that. I am thinking of entering my Scort in the Silver State Classic In Nevada. For those who've never heard of it it is a Road Race a litlle more than 93 Miles long in Nevada on Route 318. It costs a bit of cash, over $1K to enter and recieve their "driving Lessons", which are required, but it seems well worth it. It's the closest I'll ge tto being able to go balls out in any car for the moment being, so why not test the limits of my Scort? Once again Congrats and maybe one day I'll get a chance to see this type of thing first hand!
 
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