I tried to post this a couple of weeks ago and I never could get it to post on the old server
. Will try it again now.
I did a performance driving school in the SLK32 April 1-2. I must have had fun since I did loose a lot of tread
. Makes me appreciate how hard it is to drive a road course correctly. The particular track I was on had just opened a new section for a total length of 3.1 miles with 16 corners. Very interesting experience. The SLK performance was excellent. In the novice group I was running in, we (the car and driver) held our own, I passed a number of people (only allowed in long, safe, straight-aways after they signal you to pass) and never had anyone needing to pass me from behind unless we were all slowed by someone in front. With a long track like this it helped when everyone got spread out. I let my instructor take the SLK out for a couple of laps with one of the advanced groups, he showed me more of the cars capabilities than I was using. It is a very capable car. He left the ESP on (as did I) but he commented that if it was his car and he was driving, he would turn it off. I guess years of track experience would allow you to get more performance out of the car without the ESP.
I'm signed up for another event at the same track in May. It's with the Fort Worth section of MBCA. It will be a little slower paced event I think. I couple of sessions of "lead & follow" with passengers allowed and no helmets required. Followed by classroom instruction and two 25 minute track sessions that are as fast as you dare with limited passing, no passengers, helmets required.
I don't think I will continue to track the car though. In order to improve my performance I would have to push my limits and be willing to go off track with the car when I make a mistake, and I really don't want to damage the car. A Corvette took a turn wrong and went off a piece of curbing, since he sits so low he tore off his oil pan resulting in a quick flash fire, not to mention a bunch of oil on the track. Numerous others spun off or ran off the track into the grass, gravel or rocks (new section of the track was pretty rough off track). Every track is going to have places where if you make a mistake and go off track you are going to damage the car.
Speaking of Corvettes, there were a bunch of them at this driving school. Also a lot of various BMW and Porsche models, Miatas, Mini Cooper S's, NSX's (2 I think), Lotus Elise's, etc. I was not only the only SLK there but also the only Benz out of probably 150 cars! It's nice to have a unique car instead of just being one of many.