Driving events hosted by car companies have become a fun way not only to encourage "spirited" driving, but to show off their performance.
As an avid participant in all free driving events, revitup — for me — was a no brainer, having been to Lexus, Honda, Mercede-Benz, and Mazda events. The "zoom-zoom-zoom" company, I felt, was very creative last year, promoting the new MX-5 by having you demonstrate your driving prowess and skill not just on a course, but while in an MX-5 with a bowl full of golf balls on the hood.
Revitup, put together by our friends at Chevy, was different. With the registration fee of $25, one took a short 30 minute classes with Skip Barber instructors, drove an automatic corvette on a short track, and took a stab at getting the fastest time at your location via a Cobalt. The fastest from each track in every city will later come together to battle it out on a new track for a ’07 Corvette Z06 — the ultimate track terror.
As an avid auto crosser, I — of course — smack talked a couple of buddies as we made our way across Irvine to the el Toro location. All of us love to wind our autos around cones on the weekends, so we thought we would hustle the average folk when we got there.
After the brief rules and regulations instruction, we headed off to the 30 minute advanced car control, grip dynamics and racing line class. Our instructor Loren Elimer, a past Formula One driver and Skip Barber instructor, helped prep us to cut seconds off our times. During our practice laps, I drove a Cobalt SS supercharged with a 6-speed manual. The practice performance track also had other Supercharged Chevys, including the TrailBlazer SS midsize SUV and Impala SS sedan. All cars sported hankooks, and Chevy proved once again that spinning someone else’s tires with your lead foot is always more fun then your own.
On the other end of the event were ride alongs with a professional driver in a ’07 Z06 through some mind-blowing courses (many said to produce over 1gs of lateral force) and a short slalom and oval track with automatic corvettes which open to anyone who attended! It was fun to hear the track attendant say "punch it and light em up!" as I hit the gas!
The fastest lap of the day was in the 29 second range, driven by a complete amateur! I, on the other hand, had dreams of putting that Z06 into gear, but alas only hit a 31.4. Oh well, at least I drove a C6, a far cry from my daily driver with 90 hp.