Sparkling new SRT vehicles and a beautiful fall day at Las Vegas Motor Speedway combine to make a superlative day of driving experience.
It seems that October was my month for driving schools and experiences, because after I attended the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School at the beginning of October (see our December, 2012 issue for the detailed review), I was then invited to join in the SRT Track Experience at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at the end of the same month.
In 2002, Chrysler introduced the Street and Racing Technology brand, and has sold SRT versions of Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles ever since. Shortly after the introduction of SRT they introduced the SRT Track Experience to their customers, as well as the North American automotive market. Anyone who purchases an SRT brand vehicle is eligible to experience the program at no cost. But, anyone can purchase the day’s experience—it seems to me that if you are in the market for a new car, and are wondering if a new SRT has the driving capability that you want, then buying a day at the Experience through SRT is a great way to do research. As far as marketing goes the whole SRT Track Experience is a very smart idea. They are reinforcing their customer’s purchasing decision (and making their already happy customers even happier) by putting them through an experience where at the end of the day, its participants feel like racecar drivers in their own cars.
At check-in for the SRT Driving Experience you receive your personal USB flash drive and instruction on inserting it into the port each time you drive. Two onboard cameras and a processor will provide you with a picture-in-picture video record of your day. Neat!
It’s a one-day event, but it’s an action packed, exhilarating and very educational day. I was not expecting to learn so much about the SRT cars, and I had no idea how fun they were going to be to drive on a road course or how insanely competent all of the SRT models are at speed on a closed course. The end of October brought us pleasantly comfortable weather in Las Vegas, which was perfect for the outside activities that were to come. It was a beautiful day at the track, sunny and 75 degrees with a light breeze. The day started early with the gathering of the participants inside the Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s tri-oval tower building behind pit row. The instructors are waiting at a desk to give everyone their SRT personalized printed nametags with their own lanyard and a USB flash drive, which will come in handy later. They tell us to have a seat after helping ourselves to some of the awesome breakfast buffet and coffee—real breakfast, not just rolls. After listening to their opening instructions and introductions of the instructors, the group was broken up into two teams, each with its own leader. The two teams would be competing for low times in the autocross event during the day. After the groups were settled, we headed out to the cars.