Man, don’t you hate clickbaity titles like that? I’ve had to dance a fine line between attention-grabbing and clickbaity from time to time during my tenure as an automotive writer. Like a rousing, extended version of a new wave dance song it never seems to end.
Usually the ol’ “what really happened” conveys something negative. But no, it was quite the opposite at the Lexus Performance Driving School -it was so much fun!
It was actually my first official “press trip”, meaning an event that the manufacturer paid for my expenses to go do a thing. Travel expenses, two nights in a nice hotel in beautiful Monterey, and the cost of the one-day program itself. You could kinda count the previous one-day driving schools I’ve been to as press trips, though those didn’t feature overnight stays or covered expenses. Shit, I just realized I never sent the mileage reimbursement for the BMW school last Summer…
They also gave me an absolutely-delightful presser to cart myself to and from in, the 2021 Lexus RC F Fuji Speedway Edition. They asked me what car I’d like to COVID-safe travel to and from in (drive up from SoCal and back). When I requested the Fuji, they quickly gave me the stamp of approval. I was a tad shocked: I thought it was a going to be a mighty ask considering the thing’s limited to 60 units. But no, thumbs up with unlimited mileage. Thanks Toyota/Lexus!
Up until I arrived, I thought it was going to be a limited-occupancy-type thing with fellow journos and other media professionals. This was not the case, I was mixed in with civilians. I was stoked on this for sure; it was cool to chat with people of all kinds of automotive enthusiasm, make some new pals, and not be in a networking mindset whatsoever. Well, the EIC of The Motoring Journal was in my group, but we really just chatted/hung out.
Again, the school itself was great. I got a solid atta-boy from Adam Andretti on my autocross driving, and I got to rip an LC 500 around Laguna Seca (lead-follow, which wasn’t ideal, but I was thoroughly stoked nonetheless). Instruction was solid, too. A good review of the basics is never something to be turned down. And really any chance to hang at Laguna on a sunny Spring day is a day well-spent.
And finally, here’s the video I shot to accompany everything.
Oh wait, hang on, here are two selfies, too: one with Adam Andretti (right photo), the other with Scott Pruett (left photo). Both gents were super friendly, and nerding-out with Andretti about handling tracks and NASCAR on road circuits is already a Top 5 moment of 2021.
This has been my first post in quite a while – more to come! Even if they’re just lists with links of what I’ve been writing!