On July 19 super car owners, guests, on lookers gathered at Miller Motorsports Park for the second Supercar Invitational. An invitation only event where owners of vehicles such as Ferraris, Lamborghinis, McLarens and Porsches could get some instruction from NASA instructors then put the hammer down on their own for some hot laps. Oh, and see the Caterham up close.
A McLaren MP4-12C, a twin turbo Lamborghini Gallardo and even a Lexus LFA took to the track, wowing fans with their speed and sound. However there was one notable, flamable Italian make missing. Nobody brought a Ferrari. Tragically the howl of its flat plane V8 was not heard, but since there wasn’t one in attendance it couldn’t set itself ablaze. The lack of the melodic Italian was not missed. Everyone was treated to the scream of the Lexus’s V10 (Toyota’s F1 program wasn’t a total loss!), cracking of the wastegates on the Lamborghini and the subdued rage of the McLaren.
Some of your favorite NASA drivers were allowed to take their cars out for some track time, and take the supercar owners to school! Greg’s STi chased down some high dollar vehicles, and nobody knew what was under the hood of the fast S30. It’s a VQ35DE from a 350Z if you are curious, it sounds amazing and makes the old Datsun move. Meanwhile Kyle ,when he wasn’t in his street GTR (which now had the same vinyl wrap as his race GTR) was attempting to pace the Caterham SP.300/R in his race GTR, but to little success because the Caterham didn’t seem too interested in that game… Oh well, hopefully its presence got a few people excited enough to order some so we can see them turn their wheels in competition!
‘Murican muscle was out in force! Everything from a previous generation Mustang up to a Corvette ZR1 were taking laps. The orange and black Mustang kept gaining confidence through out the day, and by the end was hitting the curbing like it owed him money. The ZR1 was wearing slicks on all four corners, like it should be if it’s going to be whipping around a road course, and made full use of them. The panda GT500 Mustang sounded like you would expect one to sound: unadulterated rage with some supercharger whine mixed in. It was glorious.
Almost as glorious as ze Germans. Much like France in 1940, they arrived quickly and stayed for a while. There were a trio of Silver Arrows (none of which were silver, and one of which was driven by a rather impatient man), a pair of R8s and a couple of 911s and M3s of both flavors (coupe and sedan). Two of the Mercs were packing the machine gun 6.2 liter V8, and had no issue with using the loud pedal. The R8s howled everywhere they went, and the drop top was a fan favorite amongst the spectators. The 911s turned fast laps and looked like all fast 911s do going around corners: good. The M3 coupe was doing taxi service, giving ride alongs (I didn’t go on one… Kinda regretting that now) while the sedan eventually won an award: slowest speed for the trap speed run. In his defense, he didn’t know where the finish line was so he let off at the 1/4 mile mark. Speaking of the trap speed run…
They had one! Complete with blonde starter girl! The winner was, surprise surprise, the twin turbo Gallardo. But I can say that we were all winners on the day. Supercar owners got to stretch their cars’ legs and spectators got to see said leg stretching and even go for ride alongs. There were free drinks and food, which makes any event that much better. And there was a helicopter too. Very cool. And models. Also cool. I look forward to next year’s event, where hopefully we will see a prancing horse in addition to the bull, the beetles and the fax machine.
Words and photos by Michael Chandler
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