IMPA Test Days 2012: Part I

If it’s late September, it can only mean one thing-the annual International Motor Press Association’s annual two-day Test Days event. This is The Garage’s fifth trek to this event. Test Days is open to IMPA members only, but is a massive event, bringing together a large group of manufacturers with an impressive showing of cars. This was Test Days’ second year in the beautiful Catskill Mountain area of New York State. For two days the event was hosted by the professional staff at Monticello Motor Club, a private, members-only race track. Think of it as a country club, but instead of swinging a golf club, you’re pounding your sports car on a track.

Test Days is divided into two distinct sessions. Day one has us enjoying a wide variety of cars on the scenic, winding roads of the Catskills. Day two is track day, where we get to unleash the cars at Monticello’s fantastic race course. During both days, a rigorous off-road course was available. On day one, I kept to the tarmac. Here’s a sampling of the cars I drove, all of which can be seen in the photo gallery at the end of this post.

On a crisp autumn day in the Catskills, the weather was picture perfect. Taking my time in picking my first car to drive, I made a promise to stick to cars I normally don’t get my hands on. I started with the Range Rover Evoque. I love the looks of the Evoque, and it was a comfortable ride, but my doors weren’t blown away. With a 2.0L direct injected turbo four making 240hp, the Evoque was adequate, but not particularly as fast as its sporty profile suggests. And with an as tested price tag of over $54,000USD, I have a problem with that. I’ll take a BMW X1 with the twin-turbo inline six with the M Sport Package and laugh all the way to the bank.

A little let down by the Evoque, it was time to turn my attention to something more interesting. Well, the 2013 Corvette Grand Sport (pictured above) seemed suitable. With the roof off, nothing but me and the open road ahead, the Corvette was positively glorious. Powered by a 6.2L V-8 knocking out 436hp paired to a six-speed manual, the ‘Vette was the perfect driving companion. Turning from a stop sign it was all to easy, and hilariously fun to kick out the tail on take-off. The Corvette will be whatever you want it to be, as she is happy to be driven hard, or simply loaf along. And whatever your choice, she is so easy to drive and very forgiving. Our heavily optioned Grand Sport rang in at just under $71,000, but for what you get it is still a great performance buy.

It is events like Test Days that sometimes give other cars an unfair advantage. After enjoying the Corvette, I jumped into a 2013 Nissan 370Z Roadster. Top down, gorgeous day, I take off in the Z, and well…I’m bored. Had I picked a Prius, I’d likely be praising the 370Z (as I did in 2009). The Nissan Z had no faults to point out, but the Roadster had such a calm demeanor that I did not recall from driving the hardtop. No doubt a fine car, but the Corvette was a very tough act to follow.

If any car really surprised me that day, it had to have been the Jaguar XJ Supersport. While fellow car journalists stood in line for V-8 powered AMG Mercedes, and M-powered BMW’s, the Jaguar was sitting all by itself, so I figured ‘Why not?’ What I found was an exceptionally comfortable Jaguar. Oh and quite a fast one. Powered by a 5.0L supercharged V-8, this leviathan launches like a beast starving for asphalt, and for all the refinement, offers a glorious V-8 bellow to boot. If there was one wrinkle in the car, when I opened the sunroof, there was an annoying creaking sound. Had I just spent the $112,000 price of admission, I would not be pleased. That aside, the XJ Supersport is a luxuriously lined rocket ship. For a car company who thought it was best served waxing nostalgic about the 1960′s for decades, with the XJ Supersport firmly points to the future direction of Jaguar in the 21st century. Just fix the damn creaky sunroof.

And well, yes, if there is a Nissan GT-R at my disposal, I am going to drive it. This was the Black Edition, packing an impressive 545hp. This was my second time at the wheel of a GT-R. The capabilities of the car are sky high, far greater than a mere mortal like me could possibly achieve. The prodigious power, lightning-quick shifts and remarkable grip are accomplished with little drama, apart from the G’s you’re feeling in the deeply sculptured sport seats. The GT-R’s performance is astonishing, but it is done so with virtually no emotion. If you’ve read reviews comparing the GT-R to a video game, that assessment is right. And for nearly $108,000, I don’t just want to go fast or have perfect grip, I want to feel something.

I drove into Ellensville, New York late on what had been a stormy night in a new Hyundai Elantra Coupe the night before. Even with GPS, I got a little lost. Nearly midnight, this low slung four door pulls up while I am studying the route guidance. It’s a fellow from press fleet management company STI at the wheel of a Fisker Karma, a company who provides several of the cars you see me review at The Garage. So, Fisker is here? And yes, I wanted to sample one.

If a Fisker Karma guided me to the resort IMPA was using, my test drive of the Karma was somewhat misguided. Spotting one of the two Fisker’s available to drive, I hopped in, started her up, and rolled away, with Fisker’s PR staff just feet away. I proceeded about 20′ straight ahead, where again I needed clearance from IMPA staff to leave the parking area in a press car. I was waved on. So, after a test drive, I was shocked when a Fisker PR person marched up to me to inform me there was a waiting list for the Karma, and someone was supposed to accompany me. I apologized, but I don’t understand why Fisker and IMPA simply let me drive away.

I do wish I had an engineer with me. Granted, the Fisker had been driven up from northern New Jersey the night before, and the resort had no plug-in facility for plug-in hybrids. So power was from the 260hp gas engine, and whatever energy the batteries could capture under braking. It was late in the day, batteries depleted, the Fisker did not feel all that fast. With climate control set to 68 degrees F, A/C on, the car struggled to deliver cool air to the cabin. The car was plenty comfortable up front, but the rear seat, which only seats two, was pretty tight, especially for a car this size. Materials were of good quality, but owners of comparably priced BMW’s and Mercedes-Benz’s will look at the the Karma and dismiss it as high-end kit car.

That’s a tall order for a car that starts at $96,000 with an unproven track record, not to mention the debacle at Consumer Reports where their loaner had to be towed away. Yes, the car is drop dead gorgeous, especially in person. In electric mode, the Karma emits an eery sound to make you aware of its presence. If you’ve watched Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and recall the sound of the Empire’s shuttle, it’s sort of like that.

But I will reserve final judgement of the Fisker Karma if I ever have the chance to properly review one. It’s similar to when The Garage reviewed the Chevy Volt. It really took a week of living with the Volt to understand it, and I suspect the Karma is no different. Driving a Volt with little to no battery juice does not paint a realistic picture, and the same is the case with the Karma.

And on that note, it was time to call it a day and make the half hour drive back to the resort. Final thoughts? The Range Rover Evoque as equipped would have been fine, if only priced about $10,000 less. The Fisker Karma is an unknown quantity, having not experienced it properly. The 370Z Roadster’s relaxed nature came as a surprise. The Jaguar XJ Supersport is an unsung hero car at the top of the luxury sport sedan food chain. But the hero car for the day was without a doubt the Corvette Grand Sport. Not the highest tech, nor most powerful car, nor expensive, but the Corvette pushed all the right buttons. Loud, raw, and brutally fast when you want it, or calm and comfortable as well, the Corvette represented the best of both worlds.

Please stay tuned for Part II of my commentary on IMPA Test Days where I tackle the race track and the most brutal off-road driving I’ve ever done. And I hope you enjoyed riding shotgun with me!

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IMPA Test Days 2011 Wrap Up

It’s the end of September, which always signals a special two day event sponsored by the International Motor Press Association (IMPA) known as Test Days. This year was notable not only for IMPA’s 50th birthday, but Test Days was held in a new location. Leaving familiar grounds at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania, this year Monticello Motor Club in Monticello, New York would be our hosts this year. On a crisp but comfortable September evening, my duffel and suit taking every square inch of my Fiat 500C’s diminutive trunk, I peeled back the roof, tuned to Real Jazz on XM Radio, and carved my way up Connecticut’s Route 25, a twisting, turning two lane road which would lead me to picturesque Newtown.

Once in Newtown, I would hook up with I-84. At highway speed, in a northern, higher elevation the temps were dropping and with the touch of a button the Fiat’s roof was closed, tight as a button. You would think the 1.4L 500C would make for a lousy highway cruiser, but once on the interstate I settled into the decently supported leather seat, the Fiat’s cabin alight with its orange glow from the instruments and controls. After about 70 miles of being an interstate drone, it’s time to break off to Route 17 in New York, which will take me to the Catskill Mountains. It’s pitch dark, and by the time I reach my exit, I know I’m out in the middle of nowhere, as I have another ten miles before I reach my hotel.

On a dark, desolate road I am the only car I see the entire ride. Without GPS navigation in the Fiat, I rely on help from a local gas station, about the only business I saw open. Then, turning off the road, stood Honor’s Haven Resort & Spa. Wearily, I rolled up to the security booth, gave my credentials, and put my little Fiat to bed for the night, and carted my luggage up to the lobby. Honor’s Haven is under new ownership, who have invested millions in updates and renovations, but the bones of an older hotel, recalling a different time are there, and you can feel it-in a good way.

After a solid night’s sleep, I awoke, and for the first time in my life I saw the Catskills in daylight. Wishing my wife and son a good day at work and school on my phone, I gazed upon the lake and golf course. The mountains were stunning, the grounds immaculate. As lovely as the surroundings were, there was driving to be done, and it was time to climb back into the Fiat for the 35 mile trip to Monticello Motor Club. Driving back to Route 17, seeing the area in the daylight was an eyeopener. Beautiful countryside all around, maybe a couple scattered cottage rentals, but little else.

In stark contrast lays Monticello Motor Club. A relatively new facility, MMC is a private club where drivers can wring out their own cars-basic, exotic, race car, you name it-on a 4.1 mile race track that can be configured twelve different ways. MMC is 90 miles north of New York City, and boasts a heliport, clubhouse, storage for your car and service. In the future, MMC hopes to build a hotel and eventually host a race at their track. In an upper parking lot, all the assembled manufacturers had their cars available for us to drive. We were given a route to drive that would take us through the outlying area on some challenging roads that would give us a chance to enjoy the cars on hand.

I decided to divide my day in two-in the morning, nothing but American muscle. I started off with a Dodge Challenger SRT8 392. And man, I love Challengers. I’ve gotten a Challenger SRT8 on the banking at Pocono Raceway up to 130mph+ with that Hemi sounding exactly like the stock cars you see on the track. My affinity for this car was confirmed with the Challenger R/T I reviewed, and during that week the Challenger became my favorite modern muscle car. Sadly, the SRT8 392 on hand was an automatic, which took a lot of the fun out of the equation. Next up was a Ford Mustang GT convertible. Smaller and much lighter than the Challenger, and blessed with a six-speed manual, the Mustang was hands down the better car for the undulating roads around Monticello.

After lunch-it was all imports. And it was time for me to drive what is known as Godzilla-the Nissan GTR. And I have a serious problem with this car, since Nissan claims the GTR will whip a Porsche 911 Turbo on the Nurburgring. With a Porsche 911 parked in my garage at home, it was time to drive the Enemy. I have to say, everything you have read about the GTR is true. It is without question one of the most brutally fast cars I have ever sampled. You want 60mph from a standing start? Do you have 2.9 seconds to spare? On abandoned roads I’d come to a complete stop just for the thrill of standing on the throttle, no lifting, banging the paddle shifters with the tach wildly hitting redline. I’ve driven plenty of fast cars in my time, but the GTR is at once serial killer violent yet can be as placid as a Nissan Versa. But you don’t want that. Yes, I texted our founder, Gary Grant about what speed I hit on the backroads of the Catskills in the GTR, but for fear of ever being allowed in the state of New York again, I’m not saying. An impossibly fast car, but I’m sorry Nissan, a little lacking in the ‘soul’ department.

I was glad to have driven the GTR, but my loyalty is still with Porsche. That said, I would never turn down a chance to drive Godzilla again. The rest of my afternoon was more low key-which sounds ridiculous, considering my next car was a Jaguar XKR. Definitely more of a Grand Tourer than the GTR, the XKR is deceptively fast, with a glorious V-8 soundtrack when you step on it. To close out the day, my last ride was in the revised BMW 650i. I have a soft spot for 6-series BMW’s, as my college roommate owned a heavily modified 633CSi which he let me drive. For a big, heavy coupe, the twin turbo V-8 pulls like a freight train, but not nearly as emotional as the Jag. But the steering feel is possibly the best I have ever experienced in any car, all other BMW’s included. Simply unbelievable.

It had been a terrific, but busy day, and I was ready to pack it in. Getting back into the Fiat, I made my way back to Ellenville. Returning to my hotel, I noticed something of particular interest-an abandoned resort adjacent to the property. The Nevele Grande Resort was calling like a siren to me. At the gated entrance sat two security guards-I asked if I could walk the grounds, but was given a firm ‘No’. I parked my Fiat at Honor’s Haven, with decrepit Nevele looking right back at me. Just 15′ of brush and I’m there. With security guards on hand, I wasn’t taking any chances, and kicked off my shoes in my hotel room.

After resting up for a couple hours, it was time to dress up and head to the reception. Once there, I noticed a laptop computer showing pics of old, abandoned cars. I walked over to take in the pics, where I see next to me is Tom Cotter, a frequent contributor to Road & Track, and author of my favorite ‘barn find’ books like “The Cobra in the Barn” and “The Hemi in the Barn”. Automotive archeology is Mr. Cotter’s passion, and I share that, and it was a thrill to meet this man. I introduce myself, and standing over the laptop, looking at beautiful vintage cars of all makes and vintages, Mr. Cotter turns to me and says: “All of these cars you see, I shot within five miles of where we spent out day today.” Damn.

As always, I enjoyed the company of Kevin ‘Crash’ Corrigan of Carkeys.ca for dinner, as well as members of Auto123, a French/Canadian site. A pleasure was our keynote speaker, none other than Brian Redman, famous British road racer. Following dinner, there was an outdoor reception of new 2012 vehicles, but with rain falling, I decided to call it a night. Did I walk back to the edge of Nevele? Yes. The lure of this abandoned resort was strong, but once again, I used better judgement.

The next morning, it was still raining. Undaunted, I crammed my luggage back into the Fiat and made my way back to Monticello Motor Club. Today, we would have access to the race track. Following a driver’s meeting, a fleet of Cadillac CTS-V’s descended onto pit lane. In order for us to be able to drive the track, we were required to first ride shotgun with a member of MMC staff. My pilot would be Ari Strauss, COO of Monticello Motor Club. The staff at MMC had configured a track with an exciting mix of straights and tight, sweeping turns-a little bit of everything. Since no one here needed to be a grad of Skip Barber racing school, nor were any of us wearing helmets, cones were set up around the track to keep speed down.

The Crash

Yes, it’s true. A Korean auto journalist banged up the Lexus ISF seen here. And a lot of people who weren’t there had a lot to say about that. Well, I just so happened to be there. While it had stopped raining, the track was wet. The track was now open to us, and we were free to pick out our car to drive. I figured a Honda CRZ would be the perfect choice to learn firsthand what the track was like. I’m waiting at the pit lane exit, and nothing is happening. No one is going anywhere. Rumors start up, and it turns out that as soon as the track opened, a guy put a Lexus ISF into the wall. Unlike me, this person deemed the 414hp V-8 ISF the ideal car to ‘learn’ the track. Well, he never even finished the lap.

IMPA officials did finally make an announcement that there was an accident, and that no one was hurt. The track eventually reopened and it was back to business. What ensued was some of the most juvenile journalism I can recall. Before our lunch is served, Jalopnik had already posted about the crash. And Matt Hardigree who posted the article, was not at Test Days, was pissed. Mr. Hardigree is pissed off because the Lexus was banged up, and while that car is being repaired or replaced, other journalists will not be driving said ISF. I’m unclear if Mr. Hardigree, who isn’t even a member of IMPA, had a loan arranged with ESI’s New York office for that particular car, which would justify his anger. But the fact is, cars get banged up, or are recalled by the manufacturer all the time in this business. And I don’t report that to you, dear readers, because I know it would bore you to tears.

But the icing on the cake goes to The Truth About Cars. Writer jack Baruth is also very angry, even though he was not in attendance that day. Apparently the indignity of Monticello’s race track having cones on it infuriates Mr. Baruth. At the end of the day, I was hanging out with Kevin ‘Crash’ Corrigan, talking about our day on the track. I should point out that Crash is an experienced driver, having competed in the grueling Targa Newfoundland rally. We actually appreciated the placement of the cones-it showed us just right where to hit the apex to help achieve faster times around the track. And, Mr. Baruth, I assure you that while you cautioned your readers about watching ‘painful’ a lap at Monticello, I personally felt no pain while hitting 130mph in a Jaguar XKR. There was no speed limit, as you attest in your post. But, you wouldn’t know that since you were not there.

At lunch, IMPA officials asked us to be respectful, and use restraint regarding the crash of the ISF. But the damage was already done. They did not want the crash to define the event, but it was already too late. Ironically, Jalopnik broke the story, and our IMPA president is the head editor at Jalopnik. Still, I found it strange that IMPA wanted us to stay quiet about this, yet they park the damaged Lexus on pit lane for a couple hours in front of a group of auto journalists armed with cameras and smart phones. Go figure.

That said, it was a great day at the track. the Honda CRZ was great in getting a feel for the track itself, and as the day progressed, my confidence increased and was definitely getting quicker each time out. I can’t say enough about how easy it was to push the Jaguar XKR around the track, and push it hard. It is deceptively quick in spite of its size and weight, but was an absolute terror on the track. A radically fast GT on the streets as I’d discovered the day before, yet totally adept on the track as well. The Jetta GLI was also a much improved car over the new car I’d tested earlier this year. The all-new Beetle Turbo was a let down on the track, but more aggressive rubber might have made a difference. However, the Golf R was built for this track, and was an absolute revelation. I was shocked to see 125mph on the faster section of the track from a car with half the power of the Jag. And while I love the BMW Z4, it’s long nose was a hindrance as I tried to point the car through the race track.

After a rewarding day of lapping Monticello, the day was coming to an end. As always, IMPA holds a classic car concours, and I am chuffed to say that Crash’s VW Transporter-his father’s car he imported from the UK, right hand drive, took top honors. I had volunteered to help clean up once the event was over, and I connected with Test Days organizer Paul Licata. Paul was generally pleased with how everything went, and was grateful the Lexus crash was the only casualty of the event. Test Days is an enormous undertaking, and I thanked Paul for his hard work, and I look forward to coming back next year.

It was time to hand over the keys to the Fiat, and prepare for my drive home. I was picking up a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Putting my luggage in the Jeep, I summoned the nav to point me to a restaurant where I could unwind before making the drive back home. I wound up at The Old Homestead in Bridgeville. A stately restaurant, and clearly a fixture in the Catskills, I entered a tidy, immaculate and clearly old school. And completely empty. I took my weary feet and sat down at the mahogany bar for a Yeungling Lager, and watched the NY Mets play some terrible baseball. Terry was my bartender, a man in his late 40′s, and my conversation with him completed my first experience of the Catskills, circa 2011. Terry said they have good and bad days, but he recalls days where the line to get a table ran out the door. The bar three deep. The resorts keep closing, and it’s killing the business. It was clear Terry had made his career as a bartender in the Catskills.

Before I went to New York, I watched ‘Cars’ with my son. A story of how a town became forgotten. Leaving The Old Homestead, and talking to Terry, I recalled watching Cars and hearing “Our Town: by James Taylor.

Time goes by, time brings changes, you change, too
Nothing comes that you can’t handle, so on you go
Never see it coming, the world caves in on you
On your town
Nothing you can do.

I came for the cars, but fell in love with the Catskills. And it breaks my heart that this beautiful piece of America is in decline, that majestic resorts now sit empty. Not far from where I stayed, Grossinger’s Resort in Liberty, New York, a resort that once hosted 150,000 guests a year shut down. Watch the video-it’s utterly amazing that such a hot spot could become a ghost town. As for me the Jeep Grand Cherokee was the perfect companion for my trip home.Till next year!

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Wet track + stupid journo = bent Lexus

In case you missed it the original report from Los Jalops, an auto journalist ran out of talent while driving the Lexus IS-F you see above at Monticello Motor Club last week. Perhaps “ran out of talent” is not a fitting comment, as the Armco was impacted half a lap into this guy’s first (and last) lap of the day.

The incident happened during the track day portion of the International Motor Press Association’s annual Test Days event. Historically held at Pocono Raceway, IMPA moved the event to Monticello due to its proximity to The Big Apple, where many members reside.

In addition to Matt Hardigree’s rant in Jalopnik, Jack Baruth has added his comments over at The Truth About Cars. I agree wholeheartedly with both of them that the journo involved is a dink with no regard for his fellow scribes, nor for the carnage he left in his wake. The guy is a douche.
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IMPA Test Days at Split Rock resort rocked by explosion

Split Rock's indoor water park while under construction in 2008

This week is the International Motor Press Association’s Test Days in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. The first day centers around the old ski hill at the Split Rock Resort, while day 2 takes place at Pocono Raceway. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend this year, this being the first one I’ve missed since joining IMPA 4 years ago. On second thought, maybe I picked a good year to miss.

At 7:30 this morning, a gas leak in the Split Rock Resort sports complex caused an explosion that leveled the sports complex. The building is separate from the main lodge, being joined by a tunnel. It contains contained tennis courts, bowling alleys, an arcade and a mini golf course. Due to the early hour, there were no guests in the building. One employee who was on site sustained minor injuries.

In past years, my kids have spent part of their day in that building while I was out testing cars.

While Test Days wrapped up yesterday afternoon, many IMPA members stay at Split Rock on the final evening before making the trek home. Our man Tom Williams and friend of The Garage, Crash Corrigan are at Test Days. We are waiting to hear a report from them and will keep you up to date as soon as we get word from them.

Once they get home, we may actually have some stories about cars!

Source

Video: The Garage gets wet over the Lotus Exige S260

exige s260

Most of us around The Garage have a bit of a thing for cars that bear the Lotus name. The more recent models from the house that Colin built follow the less is more philosophy truly embody the spirit of the marque, having light weight and high performance. The very limited edition Exige S260 has even more (less?) added lightness along with a healthy dose of extra oomph.

Of course when I got behind the wheel, the S260 had substantial removed lightness! Some folks have complained that the cockpit is too tight, but even with my substantial girth I found it comfortably snug. Ok, with Kevin Smith from Lotus and I wedged in there it was a little more than snug but at least we didn’t have to brace ourselves against the Exige’s massive cornering forces.

Even in the rain, on nearly slick tires, the S260 is one of the most capable cars I’ve ever driven. The car reacts to even a hint of movement of the pedals or steering wheel, almost as if you could drive it with telepathy. With gentle, progressive throttle application past a wet apex, the car explodes down the track unlike any other 4 cylinder. At the end of the long straight, one must learn to leave braking well beyond where one would brake in any other car even when traveling at much higher speeds. At just a tick over 2,000 pounds, with gigantic racing brakes, the Exige brakes even more explosively than it accelerates. I imagine this is what the brakes in a formula car must feel like. I’ll never know, as it isn’t likely that anyone is building a XXL Formula Ford any time soon!

When it was my turn to get out of the Lotus, not only did I not want to, but I almost wasn’t able. The exit hole is rather small. Our video guru, Scott Simmons, was nice enough to cut out most of that footage!

After my play time, we sent Scott out on the track with Smith to get some video and he in turn has provided us with some great Frankenheimer inspired on track commentary from the Lotus rep.

Of course the video is after the break!
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Getting wet in the 2010 MazdaSpeed3

Every year at Test Days, there is one car that surprises me. Several of our journo friends have driven the 2010 Mazdaspeed3 on the track and were blown away by how capable it was and yet somehow I was unprepared for how incredible this car is. In fact, the Speed3 exhibited so much grip and accelerated so hard during our wet session that I actually thought it was an AWD car! This machine is just wicked!

Now, enough from me. I hope you enjoy our newest video.

Getting wet in the 2010 Kia Soul

Anyone who has known me for a while knows that my taste in cars can be best described as somewhat eclectic. Why else would I decide we should do a wet track day video of the Kia Soul. Funky and fun it is. Fast is ain’t. Really though, the rain at Pocono had been coming down really hard and the whole team was getting fed up with feeling like a bag of soggy buns. We needed a nice warm, dry spot to perk us up a bit and some kind soul had left the Soul running. With the defrosters on full. It was just what the doctor ordered, so we thought we’d shoot a bit of video from the inside.

Mitsubishi Evo X MR: Have your cake and eat it too

evo mr

During our recent travels to the Poconos for the IMPA Test Days, Tom and Scott got out on the road in the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo MR and, well, tested. It turns out that Tom knows a thing or two about the Evo and looks a damn sight better than I do on camera! See what Mr. Williams thinks of Mitsu’s quick shifting four door after the break,
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IMPA Test Days 2009 Teaser

For the second year in a row, we’ve brought video guru Scott Simmons to the International Motor Press Association’s Test Days in the Poconos. A day on the hill is followed by a day lapping Pocono Raceway. Last year we got to muddy things up a bit in the trucks, while this year was dry as a bone on day one. We got some great on road footage and spent far too much time in a big orange Ford. If off road day was a little too dry, Mother Nature made up for it by dropping enough rain to make Noah nervous on track day. Always up for a challenge, our team of Scott, Tom Williams and I made the best of the weather and still took some rather soggy laps and managed to keep it on the pavement. This teaser video gives just a hint of what we have in store for you over the coming weeks!