GT500 Track Attack - Impressions

PUR_SPD

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Just returned from the GT500 Track Attack in Charlotte and thought I'd leave my thoughts and impressions of the event. I did stay for the optional 2nd day and will give my thoughts on that as well.

GT500 Track Attack
They treat you great. Very professional start to finish. You'll have your own GT500 for the day. It is a base model which is more than plenty for the event. They have the video logging system in the car. I paid for this upgrade but it didn't work so ended up getting a refund. You'll spend either the morning or afternoon on the road course at Charlotte International Speedway. Course is plenty challenging but if you have some track time you'll pick it up really quick (about 3 laps). The sessions are all lead-follow with the instructor in front. The instructors are great. I worked with a couple of them and they know what they're talking about. You'll then hit the drag strip. I've never done this in my life so it was a thrill to say the least. You'll get in plenty of runs and will probably be worn out before your time is up. First time I've ever used launch control and it's a little scary - still a great time.

Due to COVID (or at least that's the excuse anyone in the service industry is using nowadays) there is no welcome reception, just some coffee and light snacks in the morning and lunch is packaged sandwiches, chips and cookies. Honestly I don't really care about the food - I came for the cars!

The store they have has plenty of really cool stuff. I'm embarrassed to say how much I spent or what I bought but I still have a smile on my face.

At the end of the event they'll give you a certificate and tell you to take that to a track event and you'll be moved up a group. No chance. At no point did they really cover flags, safety protocols, hand signals, etc. No way 1/2 day on a race track moves you up a group so don't get over excited. Besides being in the beginner/novice group at a track is a good thing - you'll have an instructor and will learn from someone who really knows that track.

There are a couple upgrades you can pay for with the GT500 Track Attack:

Video Logger - Even though mine didn't work I wouldn't pay for it again. You really don't have anything that cool to show off to your friends or family. Because your track sessions are lead-follow you never really go THAT fast. Hate to admit it but I could have probably turned the same lap times in my Audi A6 as we did with the GT500's just due to the lead-follow. In fairness I have years of track time all over the country so if this is new to you you'll get a kick out of it and learn a lot.

Track Insurance - I opted out of this one and am really glad I did. At no point are you really going fast enough to get yourself into trouble. Yes, it is a nice safety net just in case but I can't imagine anyone really needing it. In my group of 6 drivers only one other person had any track time and at no point was anyone even close to being in trouble out there. Super controlled. If you want your peace of mind by it otherwise save the money.

2nd Day Add-On
I hate to say it but this is really not worth the time or money. I did get some experience heel-toe that I really needed but the other time was almost a complete waste if you've done more than one or two track events.

Again, lead-follow for almost all the sessions. The cars are Mustang GT's that are decked out for the track. You can option up to the Cup2 tires and that might be worth it as the BF Goodrich tires were crap and over inflated (and they wouldn't take any air out to get more grip) so they could save money on tires over the long haul. Almost all of the cars have some known problem where they go into limp mode at various times. Mine did this and it was annoying at best.

I will say that after driving the GT500 on the track then moving to the Mustang GT it was night and day. Even though the GT was track prepped the GT500 would eat it alive even with a novice driver.

Throughout the staff and instructors were absolutely fabulous. The Track Attack is so worth the time and effort. Gotta figure out how to get a job there as an instructor for sure!
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Warpath

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Was going to ask you exactly this when you got back. Thanks for the write up.
 

09cs

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I did the 500 and 350 track attacks back to back. In the 350 class, it seems more people need the insurance (someone did in my class) than the 500s from what the instructors told us. I agree, ive never been to a drag strip, so that was exhilarating!
 

Tomster

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Your impressions were my suspicions. I too think the lead/follow would hold a good driver back due to the overall groups abilities. Even if everyone in your group was experienced, I doubt the instructors would be running flat out.
 

Jbraun2828

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So if you wreck the car it’s on you to pay for damages?
 

OH3Cobra

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i came back to my car after the first run and i was paired with another car, they were "faster" than my previous group and with an instructor and two cars we actually caught and passed another group. When we came back they parked us in one of the garages single file and added a 3rd car. that group was quick as well. I believe they try to put you with like type drivers so that people get a great experience within their capabilites. I had a few twitches but if you follow their line and roll on the throttle in areas where it can be dicey you'll be fine. I did brake later and later in as the sessions progress. The brakes on these things are amazing.
 

OH3Cobra

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Jbraun2828 YES! So i went with insurance. They told us of a gentleman who's wife set up the school for him without insurance and he stuffed his to the tune of 15K
 

Tomster

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If you are going to push the car..... get the insurance. Bad things do happen, even to experienced drivers.
 

Colleton

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The insurance has a $7,900 deductible. That's a bit much I think, but I did get it.
 

luc

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Your impressions were my suspicions. I too think the lead/follow would hold a good driver back due to the overall groups abilities. Even if everyone in your group was experienced, I doubt the instructors would be running flat out.
flat out......
 

Ablaze

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For those that have been.. do you feel safe leaving your Shelby (CFTP..) at the Embassy Suites (assuming that is where you stayed) or should I take my truck?
 
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PUR_SPD

PUR_SPD

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For those that have been.. do you feel safe leaving your Shelby (CFTP..) at the Embassy Suites (assuming that is where you stayed) or should I take my truck?
I saw other nice cars in the area. To be completely honest I don't feel safe leaving my CFTP anywhere but my garage or driveway during the day. Just the thought of the spoiler disappearing makes me cringe!

My wife and I had the sliding door open to our room and we could hear all the cars racing around outside and we just chuckled as it seemed like kids trying to show off. Ah to be young...
 

Ablaze

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I think I'll take the truck. Thanks for the feedback.
 

09cs

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Take the truck

Though we had someone in our group who drove her CFTP from Florida to NC for this. Not sure what hotel she was at
 
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