Since last September I have been driving with a Mazda Miata club every Saturday. Before joining the club my car seemed to have everything needed for my needs yet in my first drive with the club I knew more was needed. I was told my skills were very good and that the car could not be out driven but failed to hear the words (customization of the suspension would be needed to do what the top two drivers in the club do).
Roughly eight months later I was totally pushing the car way pasted it’s limits so customization started and finished in three weekends, all work done by professionals who understand what I wanted and the parts were custom also with a good deal of research, trial and error before these parts were put on my car.
So in the past few months I only push the car to it’s current limitations were before doing the same style of driving was pushing the car way passed it’s limits.
Little did I realize how proficient my driving skills are coupled with a fine tune car until today.
A man drove 50 miles to check out our club. Indicated he had exceptional driving skills and want to know if we were going to take a drive today? The lead driver said yes, I simply get into my car as the lead driver knows I am going. Another driver (current club member) indicates he wants to go.
So before continuing, there are drivers who simply love a nice casual drive in the country while the other extreme (my style), we live for twisty roads that have a level of difficulty yet must be safe as this time of year there are people riding bikes or jogging so we are careful.
Well we start off on some soft turns, 30 MPH ones on straight roads, on declines. The new driver is right behind me, seems to be doing well. Next we get into the thick of it, very challenging roads that demand skill and reaction times. Come out of that section and the new driver is now at least one or two minutes behind us so we slow down to wait for them.
We repeat this on other roads, pretty much the same, the two drivers behind us are minutes behind me with me behind the lead driver who is about three car lengths ahead of me.
At the end of the run there is only three of us left, the last driver had peeled off, headed for home. We asked the new driver what he thought of the run. He pretty much called us crazy but used more elegant words. He expressly indicated he could not keep up with us and that he noticed myself and the lead driver virtually never hit our brakes. We simply listened and said “hope you see you back again” but I very much doubt we will.
In hind sight we could had told him that we have mild driving too yet that is not that often.
Going back to the new driver indicating he had great skills, it may be but not for the type of driving we do.