I was on the fence about going to the track attack. My GT500 will never see a tracK. There’s a video on YouTube of guy like myself who’d never been to a track before. He said he felt rushed because he was in a group that had a bunch of experienced individuals.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!
I was there recently for a different event, stayed in Homewood Suites (across from Embassy Suites) - for one night parked a truck with a car on a trailer at the hotel lot (since I arrived late). Felt safe but we were warned by event organizers to leave cars on site as "there has been minor theft in surrounding hotels".I think I'll take the truck. Thanks for the feedback.
You're not in Charlotte, and there was very little if any uber's/lyft in the Concord area, and had to use the "black" options, just to get a driver to come out to there. And especially early in the morning when you need to get there by a certain time. Even trying to use a cab company, they failed to show to pick me up the first dayUh oh, I haven’t rented a car in forever, despite traveling quite a bit. Why was the ride service experience bad?
Agree about the strip, but still fun none the less!I went to the GT500 Track Attack on 4/2/21 and it definitely is a more controlled experience than the GT350 Track Attack was when I went a few years ago in Utah. They let us run as a group without the instructor at the GT350 event so I was also disappointed it was lead follow the entire time for the GT500. The prep at the drag strip was terrible and meant to slow you down not achieve optimal traction which is disappointing since that's a world class drag strip. With that said it was still a good time and the instructor did allow us to lap other groups since my friend and I were running faster. Unfortunately my car keep throwing the service AdvancedTrac error and pulling me out of Track Mode during the last road course session of the day causing me to have to pull into the pit twice. Nothing like the car getting super loose on you at speed.
Did you miss this thread?Attempted to ask several people on a Facebook GT500 group about their experience with the track attack but they refused to talk about it and didn’t give a reason why. This doesn’t mean that they had a poor experience at the track attack but it wasn’t a good sign.
Thank you very much for the info!! What was your level of track experience before you attended the track attack?Did you miss this thread?
From the above thread, my own experience at the Track Attack.
The bold part is so true! I was on the fence of going with COVID and everything going on, but I am seriously so glad I wentI've tracked over the years at Watkins Glen, Roebling Road, and done the GT350 Track Attack and the GT500 Track Attack. Nothing competitive, just open tracking for fun. I just try to be smooth and find a way to be faster than I was the last time I tracked. I am guilty of taking advantage of the throttle with this car and get a kick out of inducing oversteer mid-turn though. Too much fun not to.
I've talked to a few guys that sounded similar to you and convinced them to give the TA a try. Every one of them couldn't get over how good it was and were thankful they attended. I had zero interest in drag racing this car but had a total blast at the strip. I couldn't wait to get back to the line and run again in the near 4 hrs we ran before breaking for lunch.
Life is short. Don't miss a golden opportunity. Trust me.