Supercar Driving 101: Drive It Like You Stole It

There are a few scenarios that everyone dreams of – an impromptu dinner with a model, draining a hole-in-one while playing 18 with the boss, copping the keys to a new Ferrari for a supersonic blast – you know what we mean. While some of these flights of fancy are up to you to figure out, FoundersCard partner Classic Car Club Manhattan has you covered for that last one. There will most likely be a moment in life where you find yourself in the right place at the right time to receive the keys to something ferocious. But darting off in a car that costs as much as your apartment and puts down 600 horses is a bit trickier than your dreaming.

So how do you get off the line and squeeze as much as you can out of your dream supercar while you have it? Here’s five tips to a g-forced jaunt.

Throttle – When to hold it and when to fold it
Horsepower is a funny thing. We all want four-digits worth, but most of us have driving skills that can barely handle sub-100 ponies to use. What’s worse is while a dab of throttle might make a straight highway run fun, that same dab in a corner will have you off the road and in the woods in spectacular fashion. So when do you bury the right pedal and when do you let off? Imagine a string, tied from your right foot to your right wrist. If you’re driving with two hands, as one should be, then when you turn, your hand moves further away from your foot (yeah, this is a bit untrue if you’re making a right, but you get the picture). That imaginary string should pull your foot off of the gas when you’re turning at the same rate that you turn. This means, that if you’re hand aren’t straight, your should be letting off the throttle, keeping the back of the car where it should be, behind you. As you exit a corner and start to straighten your hands, you can begin to apply throttle at the same rate as you straighten out. This automotive version of the string theory, if applied properly, will not only keep you safe on the road, it will also help you take corners a bit quicker.

Brakes – They’re not just for stopping
Yeah, we all know those six piston monobloc Brembos up front are capable of bringing your whip-for-the-moment to a sudden and sure-footed stop, they serve an equally important purpose – balance. When you get on the gas, the weight of the car goes to the rear, giving your front tires very little traction on the road. When you’re hard on the brakes, the weight goes forward, giving your front tires – the ones you use to turn – a bigger “contact patch” a racy way to describe the surface area your tires have on the ground. This means, when you’re entering a tight turn from a healthy speed, do all your braking in a straight line before you turn for stability. Then, as you approach the corner, cover the brake just a bit while you enter the turn. This will keep the weight in the front of the car and load the suspension, which will give you more control and a bigger contact patch, making it more likely that the car will turn when you want it to, rather than barreling through the turn and crashing into an elementary school.

Mirrors – Stop staring at yourself
Super cars are curvy, coffin like things. While they’re beautiful, most are impossible to see out of and give the driver essentially no lines of site for anything except for what’s exactly in front of them. To gain some vision, one must set up their mirrors in proper supercar fashion. Now, we’re sure you’ve heard you should set your side mirrors so you can see the
side of the car you’re in. That’s as wrong as it is ridiculous. What do you need to see your own car for? You’re in it! Since most supercars have wide hips and a big butt, position those mirrors out further than you’re accustomed to so you can actually see the blind spot, or the 10 feet next to your rear wheel on both sides. This will keep you from being
that guy that just crashed a Lamborghini into a cab on 6th Ave.

Paddle Shifting – No, it’s not really like X-Box
Most super cars these days come with a computerized sequential gear box, which is a shmancy way for saying paddle shifting. There are two main things you should know before getting your Cruisin’ USA hands on them. First, if you’re in a real supercar, consider that gearbox in your hands a real, race derived manual. That means sitting at a red light in first gear is eviscerating your clutch, just like if you were sitting at the light in gear with your foot on the clutch. Save your clutch and your wallet by clicking into neutral while you’re waiting at a light. Secondly, whoever throws you the keys will also tell you you can keep your foot planted on the gas and just click, click click – upshift, upshift, upshift. This is
technically true, but it’s terrible technique. Everytime you do that, the weight of the car shifts forward, then back, upsetting the chassis and the ride. Get your timing down and give about a 10% lift on the throttle just before you up shift. Once you get the timing right, you’ll have wiped that weight shift out of the equation, giving you and your passenger a smooth,
fast ride, rather than a seasick-enducing shuttle launch. Smooth is always better.

Don’t be a rev happy jerk
Yes. Supercars sound great. It’s in the script. But that doesn’t mean you have to crawl through town blipping the gas over and over so everyone around can gawk at your nearly stolen heavy metal. Causing a scene isn’t panache.  Let your access speak for itself and play the cool role, not the attention-seeking role – the car will do that on its own.

 

 

Michael Prichinello is the founder of the Classic Car Club, is the world famous private club that gives its members the keys to a fleet of the most amazing cars ever built. Classic Car Club has locations in Copenhagen, Lithuania, London, Manhattan and will soon be expanding to Los Angeles and Manhattan. FoundersCard members receive preferred Membership rates and if you are lucky Michael may even let you share the street with him. He has been a FoundersCard Member since 2011.

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