In terms of pushing the car hard as possible, I drove up a hill on the outskirts of San Jose up to an observatory - don't remember the name. That was my first experience with major embankments, hairpin corners, and drifting. I was riding with a '98 M3.
I ended the afernoon with the back of my Silver IS covered in black dust from either my tires or brakes. On the way up, passed two Vipers coming down the hill along with a couple Miata's out for a fun drive. Despite the incredibly narrow road, that was a seat-of your pants drive that had both me and my passenger pinned down.
More important than top speed, it made me realize that my stock car needs 1) better tires (maybe some SO3's?) 2) a little tighter suspension, and a driver with more of those types of trips under his belt
[ August 28, 2001: Message edited by: chrisangelini ]