Driving Real-Life Supercars in the Name of Research
Posted on Monday, October 3 @ 13:38:59 Eastern by Anthony Severino
Recently, EA cordially invited me out to Las Vegas to try out some of their biggest titles. The lure of Mass Effect 3, Battlefield 3 and the tease of an "unannounced game" was too good to refuse. The draw of spending a few days in Las Vegas sure didn't hurt, either.
I knew I was flying out to the desert to play some games, but aside from that, I really didn't know what I was getting myself into. Details were vague all the way until I arrived at my hotel and was greeted with my planner. I could tell something crazy was going to happen, as EA was asking me for my insurance information and to sign a waiver clearing them of any responsibility to any bodily harm or injury I may suffer as a result of their little shindig.
Curiosity piqued, I awoke at 8AM to ready myself for some sort of encounter at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. I've been around cars--nice cars, fast cars--my entire life (my family's business is Auto Body). But nothing could prepare me for what I was about to experience.
As our shuttle arrived at the Speedway, I could see some cars in the distance, and a race track covered with banners for Need for Speed: The Run. These weren't just any cars, these were a variety of Shelby American Inc.'s best. And when I say best, I mean they were fucking fast... they were beasts.
The fastest was Shelby's Super Snake, a machine boasting 750 Horsepower and an engine that sounded like a volcanic eruption. This is the car I was ushered into for a drive around the course.
First, they took us around the track with a driver at 180mph, screeching around corners. I'm not a small guy by any means, and this thing was tossing me around like croutons in a salad. I had been taking some video from the passenger seat to give an idea of fast these things were going. I'd have gotten more video but the corners kept smashing the camera off of my chest, shutting off the recording. I eventually managed to get the end of my second lap around. At the end of the video, the driver asks me how it was, all I could muster was a "Holy Shit!!!".
The later part of the event put us back in the passenger seat, but this time there were other cars on the track racing and passing each other at top-speeds. The intensity was turned up, and I didn't think that were possible. Before we jumped in the cars, we were taught a special signal to alert the driver if we were gonna puke. That should give you a pretty good idea of how fast we were going. I caught some footage of this, too, but only as a spectator (I was holding on for dear life and couldn't film).
The racing was fast as hell, but admittedly scripted for safety. Cars passed at the same areas to avoid crashes or flipping over. At the end, the red Shelby you can see int he video actually spun out completely in the dirt, with a fellow journalist inside. Needless to say, some pant-shitting was in effect this day.
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