2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Which Side of the Fence Are You On?
August 12, 2010
So am standing next to the race track the other weekend (something I seem to do a lot) while watching some friends at Robert Davis Racing attempt to turn their carefully prepared automobiles into heaps of randomly disassociated components. And a couple guys sidle up to me and start asking questions, apparently having mistaken me for someone who knows something.
It turns out that these two hipsters had never been to a road racing track before. There is actually so much performance-oriented automotive enthusiasm these days, it's easier than it once was to develop an interest in different kinds of racing. And when it comes to road racing, we're actually in the midst of a golden age, when there are tracks almost everywhere, many of them country-club-style tracks built for the use of private owners. So it's no wonder that you can meet people who wander up next to the spectator fence at a race track and wonder what it takes to get to the other side, where the action is.
Ford seems to have embraced this thing with its Ford Mustang FR500S, which is essentially a $75,000 turn-key racing car that you buy out of the catalog from Ford Racing as if it were a racing part. Of course, no amateur racer I've ever met does very much shopping for parts priced at the $75,000. To Chevy's credit, it does support a Camaro program in the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, a series that is one step up from the Mustang spec class.
There's not much to be learned from this, but it did make me realize that people just walk up to race tracks these days and wonder about the way to get themselves on the fun side of the fence. The way to do it is astonishingly easy (the safety measures enforced by NASA at this event at Auto Club Speedway were very easy to meet), so it's not hard to do. Yet the missing element is seeing an example of your street car on the track. Be nice to see a Camaro out there some time.
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com