Sunday, May 8, 2016
Ride The Wind
On Thursday, THC took a spin around the Indianapolis 500 Speedway and hit a top speed nearing 200 mph. He was not driving. He was riding in the second seat in the white and blue race car that is next to him in the photo above. It was courtesy of the Indy Racing Experience and set up as part of a conference THC was attending.
A few years ago, THC drove his 350Z at the Lime Rock Track in Connecticut. It's a cross-country track, not an oval like Indy, and THC topped off at around 120 mph. It was thrilling and exhausting. Driving near 200 mph at Indy felt like 5 times as fast as he drove at Lime Rock. It was akin to riding a rocket. There is nothing particularly scary about the ride, which is two laps on the 2 1/2 mile track, but it is overwhelming. The speed, vibration and engine noise create a world where everything else is shut off. Once we got on the open track and accelerated, the wind suction was so intense it felt like my helmet (which was very heavy) felt like it was going to lift straight off my head.
And we all looked like 9 year olds with goofy grins when we got out.
THC had seen the Indy Speedway on TV but it hadn't conveyed how gigantic the structure actually is.
The Indy experience reinforced THC's respect for professional race car drivers. He first realized after driving at Lime Rock the extent to which long distance racing demands great physical and mental strength. Those drivers are real athletes.