What’s it like to ride shotgun in a racecar while a professional wheel man does 125mph around a closed track?
But that doesn’t really cover it. It’s an experience that very few people have any frame of reference for. One of those rare things that takes over every fiber of your body, every inch of your brain, and melts time.
Was that a few minutes or a few hours? What day is it?
Your rocket for the day is a Mustang Challenge FR500S. It is not street-legal. It is badass.
As the first factory production racecar Ford has ever produced, the FR500S had a lot riding on its big tires. This machine is all racer, as evidenced by the stripped-down interior--no airbags, no carpet, no upholstery.
All those weight-saving tricks make the car’s 4.6L V-8 a screamer. We’re talking 325hp, 25 more than the prestigious Mustang GT.
See for yourself what it's like. YouTube user gr8n8no couldn't even hold the camera straight, he was going so fast.
The Big Event
By the time you get the helmet on, your blood is pounding in your ears so loud it almost matches the volcanic grumble coming from the epic power plant under the hood. Almost.
Once the Hot Laps begin, it’s all kind of a blur. A blur you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
The roar of the big V-8, screaming tires as the back end slips just a bit coming out of a hard left, the explosion of power as the driver drops the hammer, pinning your head to your seat. Adrenaline, fear, joy.
Trying to describe it is silly. It’s like trying to describe seeing Eric Clapton live to someone who has never heard a guitar before. Like an astronaut explaining what space is like to someone who has never left their home.
You can watch video. You can talk to people who've done it. But at the end of the day, descriptions can't come close to the actual feeling of thrashing that track in a big, bad American racecar.
You just have to try it.