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1. The perfect day at the track is wet early and dry late
Not a minute into the drive to the track and the drops of rain started to appear.
Sitting for our classroom session at the newly renovated pavilion at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (formerly Mosport) east of Toronto, Canada and the ominous clouds didn’t hold back on the drama, soaking the 2.5 miles of asphalt in what our chief instructor Danny Kok calls “liquid excitement.”
I’m here to participate in the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy’s Mastering Performance program along with another journalist and a selection of paying customers.
The group of us depart the facilities just as the track is beginning its long drying process… something we were about to aid with a caravan of shiny new Benzes.
The ideal thing about a wet track in the morning is that it teaches you to be cautious. With reduced grip it also amplifies the car’s behavior. And when practicing trail braking with an emphasis on gradual modulation of the pedal, you couldn’t ask for a better (but also more frustrating) learning experience.
With another mid-morning sprinkle, we took an early lunch in the hopes the track would try out again. And it did, leaving us with excellent grip and an afternoon of lapping the full circuit at significantly faster speeds with a little new-found (or recently practiced) skill under our belts.
Driving impressions from the MAMA Spring Rally
Track testing a car is one of the true joys of the job, but winding out 10 cars in one morning makes for a special day indeed.
And that’s just what we had the chance to do this week at one of America’s premiere regional events for auto journalists. Each year the Midwest Automotive Media Association holds its Spring Rally at one of the most impressive tracks in the country: Road America.
With over 90 different cars available to test, at least two dozen were available to be evaluated on the impressive and intimidating 4.048 mile track. Here are a few initial impressions from 10 different cars we were able to test, ranging from a Mazda3 to a Mercedes E63 AMG.