First-Time Racers Take the Track in the Texas Heat

Social media influencers from all around the U.S. get behind the wheel and take their turn on the track

by | Jun 20, 2019 | Shows & Events

Photo Credit: Elias Garcia

First-Time Racers Take the Track in the Texas Heat

Social media influencers from all around the U.S. get behind the wheel and take their turn on the track

by | Jun 20, 2019 | Shows & Events

Photo Credit: Elias Garcia

Normal Guy Supercar seems like an oxymoron, but Daniel Hurlbert proves that it is possible. Self described as “Husband, Nerd, Ferrari owner, YouTuber, Normal Guy,” Daniel publishes videos for prospective shoppers on what to expect when purchasing and owning a supercar. Daniel frequents many car shows and charity car events in the Austin area, but recently he held a new event of his own, Influencer Invasion.

Daniel rented out the local road racing school, Driveway Austin, for this special event. He offered to cover the entrance for social media influencers from all around the U.S. to get behind the wheel and take their turn on the track. If an influencer’s numbers didn’t meet his requirements, they had the option to purchase a spot in the race. There was also an option to spectate, for those who don’t find it appealing to push their own car in the 90-degree Texas heat.

Before the event started, the driver’s meeting provided the basic rules and emphasized safety. The first-timers then proceeded to a track walk, which I joined. Even though I didn’t race that day, it’s always great to learn from the knowledgeable staff at Driveway Austin. They didn’t hold back any speed secrets for their track. Midway through the walk, the heat made it almost unbearable. We were fortunate to have an almost cloudless day, after a whole week of rain.

The participants’ cars ranged from supercars to a very humbling classic. Many of the cars had six-figure price tags. This created even more excitement for everyone to see them out on a track and not sheltered in a garage. Modified cars also showcased their six-figure built price. Even though race cars and supercars were at the event, one humble star was clearly the crowd favorite: a flat black 60’s VW Beetle.

The cars were divided into 3 different classes: race prep, street prep, and stock. Is your car fully gutted of its interior, running aero pieces, and have a modified engine? Welcome to the race prep class. Have you modified your car, including tires, and you drive it on the streets? You classify as street prep. Did you buy your car from the dealer and decide to bring it to the event? Your car enters in the stock class.

Participants took practice sessions to get familiar with the track layout and to make adjustments to their cars, if needed. The race prep class featured multiple Camaros, a Jetta, and a Miata. Street prep had multiple Honda S2000s, a variety of Porsche 911 models, and the air-cooled VW Beetle. The stock class had a surprising amount of Ferraris, and one very bright, orange Dodge Viper ACR.

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After practice, the participants ran 9 laps to set their fastest times. Their two slowest times were dropped and participants were ranked based on the average of their 7 fastest laps. With this ranking system, consistency is key. Anyone can get lucky once, but consistently driving fast and efficiently is the way to win.

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