There is no debating the fact that spirited driving is not only exhilarating, but also just plain fun. Although it takes next to nothing to jump behind the wheel and speed around town or race up the highway, the truth is that it's just not safe for us or anyone else on the road. It's no secret that drag racing will always have a special place in the hearts of the MM&FF staff, but sometimes going straight just isn't enough.
Open-track road racing can be one of the most exciting forms of motorsports available to the general public, and most enthusiasts don't realize how simple it is to get involved. Believe it or not, you don't need any specialized equipment to get started.
If putting your daily driver or weekend toy through its paces on a road course is an endeavor you're not ready to undertake, there are still plenty of opportunities to get behind the wheel and attack the turns. The Kenny Brown Driving Experience is a collaboration between Kenny Brown and SpeedWorks R&D, offering drivers of all skill levels a safe and affordable way to test their abilities behind the wheel of a number of open-track-ready vehicles, from the Kenny Brown CSR-69 Mustang to an FR500S factory-built racecar.
Kenny Brown is one of the most respected names in Mustang suspension components and road racing. Since 1987, Brown's Advanced Geometry Suspension systems (AGS) have been the company's flagship product line, dating back to the first component designed for the Saleen R and Fox-body Mustangs of the late '80s. Fast-forward to 2009, and the basic principals and engineering behind the first AGS system are still at work in the company's newest offering for S197 Mustangs.
We had the chance to catch up with Brown at Virginia International Raceway to test the AGS 4.0 during the Kenny Brown Driving Experience.
Kenny Brown brought two cars...
Kenny Brown brought two cars to Virginia International Raceway. The Kenny Brown CSR-69 is its '05 Mustang GT, which showcases the companies newest suspension offerings for the S197 platform. An FR500S was also rolled out of the trailer for participants with a higher level of road-racing experience.
We arrived at the track Saturday morning ready to jump behind the wheel. This event gives drivers a chance to be part of a professional racing team, while receiving instruction from some of the best road racers in the business. We were lucky enough to have Kenny Brown himself as our instructor.
Going into the weekend with a limited amount of road-race experience, Brown took us around the 2.25-mile circuit to give us a basic understanding of the proper racing line on VIR's North course. After a few parade laps, we switched seats and headed back out for our first laps around the course.
KB was a great instructor, making sure we had a solid grasp of the fundamentals before we picked up the pace. Going into the weekend with a working knowledge of drag racing and circle-track racing, we applied what we've learned about car control in the past to what Brown was teaching.
After two days of instruction,...
After two days of instruction, we were very comfortable in the car. It was extremely controllable, and at no point did we even come close to its limits. We even beat up on a few Corvettes in the process.
After two days and intensive instruction before and after each session, carving the corners became second nature. Kenny Brown's perfectly prepared car and expert instruction was just what we needed to get a grasp of what road racing is all about. From session to session, we altered our driving to complement our strong points and help improve our weak points, and came away with a much more skilled and educated attack to driving on and off the track.
The Kenny Brown Driving Experience is a must for anyone looking to get into racing, or take his or her driving ability to the next level. For more information, visit www.kennybrown.com or www.speedworksrd.com.