The Lime Rock Drivers Club, a sort of extended family of like-minded racers of varying levels of talent, met on one of the warmest days of winter to toss their cars around a snow-covered road course. I was invited to partake in the festivities and brought along my better half in snow boots, and a Golf R wearing summer shoes. This is our story.
Being the ever-faithful VW fanboi [sic] that I am, it was only fitting that when it came time to replace the aging WUTmobile, I would stick to choosing from the Volkswagen stable. On October 31, a 2017 Golf R became the newest resident of my driveway. Coincidentally, that date was also my wedding anniversary, allowing my wife to take credit as it being an anniversary gift. Who am I to argue that point? Best present ever! But I digress. Given my liking for departing for shows and events before the sun makes its presence known, it's completely understandable that my copilot in life has left my passenger seat vacant on the majority of my automotive adventures over the last five years. But this trip was to be different!
With a little bit of luck, some good fortune, and an unspeakable amount of word of mouth, I had managed to get in contact with the director of the Drivers Club, as well as the Executive Administrator. These two individuals, Simon and Jeanette, respectively, couldn't have been better representations of a Club that comes off as a family-oriented group of weekend racers, whose main goal is to have fun, while maintaining a safe and professional atmosphere.
With just about 5,500 miles on the odometer, the newly minted WUTmobile hit the track, an autocross course buried under freshly blown snow. Rising temperatures meant the blacktop was becoming visible at an alarming rate, but I still managed to get a few hot laps in, the summer-rated Pirelli P Zeros doing their best to maintain a modicum of grip, while the 4MOTION all-wheel-drive worked effortlessly to keep my momentum pointed forward. Considering my track experience is limited to karting, Friday nights as a teenager racing electric go-karts at The Funplex and a few more recent gas-powered galavants, this 1:1 scale exploit was a blast. There was that one time I took a Huracán around Lime Rock, but...
Anyway, the short time I spent tossing the R around (at slower speeds, mind you) was a great glimpse into how well the AWD could tackle treacherous conditions, even when handicapped with summer-specific rubber. But it wasn't over yet. The instructor, Travis, also had two E36 BMWs on hand for members to use. One was a four-door 325i and the other a 318ti hatch. Both had manual transmissions and snow tires, and had logged and been flogged thousands of miles. The rear-wheel-drive Bimmers were certainly more prone to spinning, but the snow tires did their best to prevent that from happening. And with what appeared to be a TCS light flashing on the dashboard, both cars were all analog. I need not worry about any electronic nannies stepping in to stop the fun. But again, being a novice behind the wheel of someone else's car, I wasn't exactly pushing hard, and I never managed to embarrass myself by swapping the front with the rear of the car. Great success.
The balance of the morning was spent watching the attendees toss their own rides, as well as those aforementioned E36s, expertly into the corners, spraying snow and slush everywhere, all while smiling brightly behind the wheel. The driver of a midnight blue Cayenne was rumored to perfect his talent by taking his Hellcat around the snow track, working on car control and honing his craft while hooning his car. The way he was able to delicately toss his 4500lb+ SUV around like it was participating in a German ballet was not only applaudable, but downright attention-grabbing. He made it look easy, all while appearing cool as a cucumber at the helm.
The menagerie of machines included, but was not limited to, four Porsche Cayennes, a Dodge Ram 1500, a Lexus RX330, a rally-prepped Audi 4000, a Nissan Pathfinder Armada, and an Audi RS4 (which was only running while I was out on the track as well, so unfortunately there aren't any images of it.) It's funny to say, but if the weather had been colder, I can only wonder if the attendance would have been greater. Regardless, it was a fantastic turnout with a tight-knit group of individuals.
I am so thankful for many things, to be invited to such an event, to be able to drive my own car, and that my lovely wife was there with me. I'm looking forward to future interactions with the club and further opportunities to capture their activities as digital memories.
Take a look through the entire gallery below!