As I crest Monticello Motor Club’s Turn 17, I am speaking directly to you, the TTAC reader, through the magic of a complete video, data, and audio recording system installed in my six-speed manual CTS-V Coupe.
“I have an idea,” I say, as I hold the throttle pinned to the stop way past the braking markers, over the hill, down the back of the left-hander, the speedometer swinging well into the triple digits, tach reaching to redline. “I think… this section can be taken flat.”
Flat, as in flat-out, as in without the mild braking before Turn 17 recommended by the instructors at Monticello and practiced by all reasonable individuals. And, indeed, I make it over the crest pointed in nearly the right direction… but any experienced racer knows that traction on the back of a hill is never as good as traction on the front of the hill. In under a second I’ve reached the absolute maximum slip angle of the tires. I haven’t done it. I’ve overstepped my limits, and the limits of the car. To turn more is futile and perhaps deadly, since I am pointed at the grass and traveling at over one hundred miles per hour. If I have any steering dialed-in to the car when I touch that rough surface, I can cartwheel end over end in the fashion of Antonio Pizzonia in a Jag S-Type. Have to exit the track straight. What happens now?
John Heinricy (Cadillac test driver)- Cadillac CTS-V: Top Lap: 2:46:560
Aaron Link (Cadillac development engineer)- Cadillac CTS-V: Top Lap: 2:48:902
Brian Redman- CTS-V: Top Lap: 2:49:596
Michael Cooper (Who is this guy?)- BMW M3: Top Lap: 2:50:424
Jack Baruth- Cadillac CTS-V (TTAC): Top Lap: 2:51:153
Lawrence Ulrich- CTS-V (New York Times): Top Lap: 2:53:157
Bob Lutz- Cadillac CTS-V (VP of Marketing, GM): Top Lap: 2:56:321
Michael Mainwald (carguydad.com)- BMW M5: Top Lap: 3:05:398
Wes Siler- Mitsubishi Evo X ( Jalopnik): Top Lap: 3:08:126
Chris Fairman- CTS-V: Top Lap: 3:14:292
Archan Basu- Jaguar XF: Top Lap: 3:15:670
Tom Loder- Audi RS4: Top Lap: 3:15:702
It’s official: TTAC’s top driver has beaten Bob Lutz! Check back tomorrow for Jack’s on-the-ground take on the weirdness that was.
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