So while at the Belle Macchine d’Italia this year, Bentley was giving free ride alongs at the Pocono Raceway road course configurations. I know what you are thinking, what is Bentley (and Land Rover) doing sponsoring an Italian car show?? Well for starters, it doesn’t really make sense for the Italian manufacturers to sponsor this event, their owners turnout is free advertising at its best! So Bentley and Land Rover stepped in. So my friend Dan and I walked up to the table and asked what all we had to get in on the action of riding along with Bentley factory drivers. We found it was free, but the only spot they had left open was at 4pm, or the next day. That was a bummer, we had to leave at like 2pm, and that was the absolute latest! So it looked like a no-go for us… the man working the sign up sheet told us to keep checking back for cancellations or no shows, but we were both thinking, yeah whatever… So it’s almost time to go to lunch, so we were getting ready to head back to our car when the guy stopped us and said, if we could go right now they could get us in!! So we quickly filled out the consent forms, put on our SPARCO Stage 2 “Bentley” fire suits and helmets on and scurried over to the cars. Dan gets in his ride, the 2011 Super Sport, and rolls down pit lane, I get in the GT and get buckled in and the pit lane worker came up and told us that they were breaking for lunch and the track was closed. Ugh so close!! So then we were told that if we were back at the Bentley table right at 1pm they could get us in right after lunch. So we went to a local pizza shop, scarfed down 2 slices and hurried back.
When we got back, we got dressed again, this time it was really happening!! We climb in to our respective cars and roll down pit lane, wait for the all clear signal from the corner man, whoosh!! Pulled to the back of my seat in a strong yet calm manner. It wasn’t violent, but you knew she meant business. Turn 1 is the NASCAR turn 1, and turn 2 is NASCAR turn 2, from there you break hard and fly through the road course section. Now, just to let you know the driver was not holding back, I mean our first target to pass was a Ferrari F355 Challenge!!! Yeah, he said he was out there to scare his passengers!! I don’t scare easily, but he was doing his best!! We also passed a 3rd Gen RX-7 and an Acura NSX. (The NSX did pass us back but that was our pit in lap, so I don’t count that. The car itself was an absolute dream to ride in. While it held its own on the track, never once did I think it was an uncomfortable ride. The engine was no more than a loud hum, and the suspension was perfectly matched between needing to handle the torture of a track yet still feeling smooth at the exact same time. Like I told the fellows out at the track (and the salesman from FC Kerbeck Bentley who called today) that if I was in the market for a 200K+ car, it quickly got bumped to the top of my list. And that is definitely my recommendation to anyone who is the running for a car in that range and wants luxury and power. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of the interior, but the seats were more than comfortable, with leather and the stitching on the exterior. Even the back seat looked as if it had plenty of room for passengers, and had the ability to recline as well. The only downfall is, it only comes in a shiftable automatic via tiptronics and paddles. The picture is the exact car I rode in, just not me riding, I was the photographer in this instance. I do apologize about the video quality too… It was taken with my phone, half the time it is looking at the dashboard, either because the Gs were forcing the camera down and I was fighting to get it back up, or I was just too immersed in the experience to care. The sound is horrible due to the wind buffeting from the windows being down (track regulations). As far as the focusing problem, no clue what happened there.