Monday, July 17, 2006
Driver Diary: Entry #1
Here's my first entry as one half of Los Matadors. Generally my posts will consist of diary-like entries rather than bytes of information. I figure it will be interesting to some people to dive into the nuts and bolts of the Bullrun and what it means to not only someone involved but to someone who, to a certain extent, is on the outside looking in.
If you'd rather check out the pictures, please feel free to move on!
As you see Emil and I did the Poker Run on Sunday 7/17/06. It was a really great day since it was my first day in the new Gallardo SE. Emil's blue Gallardo was fast, but the SE's power was noticeably different (MUCH MUCH MORE). The adrenaline got pumping as we were off at high speeds toward the 1st check point in Northern New Jersey. After reaching speeds approaching 140mph and a couple of hard breaks, I realized I was in a car that was finely tuned and alongside a driver who can more than handle the material.
When a Gallardo, or any supercar for that matter, brakes at high speed, you realize how safe you actually are with all things being equal, and a rush of satisfaction enters into the equation. That's right, when you agree to step into a car like this, you automatically agree to the notion that you're in for a hell of a ride and you really can't ask to get out when you're already gone. I usually come to that realization pretty quickly and once I do, I have an amazing time. As I did yesterday. But it got better...
One of the reasons Emil and I decided to do this run was to get me some driving time in the Gallardo. I've driven some really nice cars throughout the years, but this was surreal. The moment I got hands around that steering wheel and foot on that gas, my mind started reeling. I kept saying to myself over and over again, "I HAVE NEVER BEEN IN A CAR WITH THIS KIND OF POWER, WOW". The phrase, "You can feel the road" is an understatment. Everything is an understatement and everything is substantial. What you have at your fingertips and under the balls of your feet is pure fuckin' magic. It's 50 years of some really crazy Italian guys who stopped at nothing but automotive perfection car after car. Yeah I know, Lamborghini is not technically an Italian company, but I don't care, makes no difference to me. That car has every bit of the tradition conceived at the very beginning of Lamborghini's history. It's a BULL.
Overall I did very well. I was a bit nervous, but I had a blast with the paddle shifters. It was a little weird not to have to engage a clutch and my reference points were all screwed up. Usually when you drive stick, the car gives you indications on when you need to downshift. For instance, when you're in 5th and slowing down, you really can feel when you need to go down to 4th or down to 3rd. With the Gallardo, the available power in any gear is unreal. You just have an amazing amount of power in whatever gear and whenever you need it. Something I will get used to some time next week.
I also had the opportunity to navigate the Lambo through some nice mountain roads with curves like a 50's centerfold. Again, it was mind blowing. I was taking curves that had signs saying 25 mph at over 50mph approaching 60. I may of had a problem with it, but the car sure as hell didn't. It owned that road and it could have taken much more if Emil was at the wheel.
Shortly thereafter my time driving was done. As I stepped out at the next checkpoint and a calm and high level of satisfaction went through my body. It felt better than sex 'cause it lasted more than 3 minutes...I'M KIDDING. Nah, it was awesome.
I know it's cliche, but when I stepped out of that Lamborghini I knew I'd never be the same again. Even more so when I got back into my 4 cylinder Toyota for the really long-slow ride home.
More to come...