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The winner of the .NET Spirit contest, <B>Psyrex</b>,has just experienced the <B>Lexus Performance Driving School</b>. Here is his account of the School, as told to us at IS300.NET.<P>

A day at the Lexus Performance Driving School, Psyrex tells us, is about 10 hours long. It begins with an introductory "Chalk Talk", which in reality turned out to be more of an introduction of the participants. The participants were then divided into 6 color-coded groups: Red, Blue, White, Green, Orange and Magenta (A.K.A. Hot Pink).<P>

There were 6 different events, each lasting slightly over 1 hour, as follows:<P>

<B><I>3 Infield Events</i></b>
<B>Road Course Open Lapping</b>: This involved driving laps on the over-1-mile-long, 19-turn road course, which Psyrex did in almost 3 minutes. Good fun, he tells us, but post-lap advice and commentary from the instructors would have made this even better.
<B>Timed AutoX</b>: This precision drive around and through the cones is a favorite of a number of .NET staffers (including yours truly).
<B>Oval Lead/Follow</b>: A really interesting and fun, yet somewhat hair-raising event, from Psyrex's description. With an instructor driving the lead car, participants each driving cars (either IS300 or GS430 Lexuses) and another instructor driving the last car, they drove 6 laps on the oval course, progressively faster, until they reached speeds of approximately 110 mph. The trick, Psyrex tells us, is to maintain a distance of 1-2 car lengths <I>regardless of speed</i>. The natural tendency, of course, is to leave more distance in front of you as you go faster. I suspect this one gives you a good feel for what a NASCAR race must be like.<P>

<B><I>3 Outfield Events</i></b>
<B>Car Control</b>: Two slaloms in a Lexus SC430. Enough said.
<B>Skidpad</b>: This was one of Psyrex's favorites. Of all the events, he tells us this was the most informative, as well as the one he wishes would've lasted longer. After wetting a portion of the track outfield, participants were turned loose in Lexus LS430s(!) and actually experienced the basics of understeer vs oversteer. Psyrex comments that many participants were too quick in trying to regain control, and that you actually need to lose control in order to really find the car's limits and, ultimately, have better control.
<B>The 24 Minutes of Fontana</b>: What a blast this one must've been! This one was a Team Relay AutoX in Lexus GSs, with each driver taking one lap and then "passing off" the car to the next driver.<P>

The action-packed day was capped off by the participants riding shotgun for hot laps in race-prepared Lexus GSs. Fun and Loud were the words Psyrex used to describe this one.<P>

Glad to hear you enjoyed yourself, Psyrex, and thank you for sharing your experience with us. We've also noticed that there are pictures and more comments in our <B>Race Related</b> forum. Please, Lexus, bring the Performance Driving School to Florida (or to Road Atlanta).
 
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