On Saturday afternoon at Road Atlanta, I tucked in behind a nameless, faceless driver. Behind the waving Michelin Man banner, the sky was a churning gray mass and humidity of distant rain choked the air. It would be the first time I’d ridden around a track in anger. Only once had I driven on Road Atlanta, and that was a lunchtime parade lap where I was in line behind Dodge pickup trucks and minivans. It wasn’t long after I signed up to ride along in a lightly modified Golf GTI that I wondered if it was such a good decision after all. Who knows how skilled the driver would be, how hard he or she would push (as it turns out, quite a lot) or what would happen if we did wreck on track, if the car turned into a fiery ball of sheetmetal tangled around a tree. Earlier that day, I piled out of my friend’s Honda Fit and into the whitewashed midmorning sun. It was already 90 degrees at 11 a.m., and I wore pants and a white T-shirt. The paddock didn’t feel as full of people as it has in previous years. The weather was the most likely culprit… Read full this story
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