Last week I was in Cabo San Lucas. For my birthday my wife bought me the “Taste of Baja” driving package. It was expensive but amazing. These pics don’t do it justice. Let me set the scene.
Baja Mexico. It had been hot the last few days, but today rain had rolled in. I am sitting in the waiting room at Wide Open. I’m alone. We are supposed to leave at 9, it’s 8:50. A man comes in and says “OK, lets go!” I am the only one today.
We drive out to their 5-mile track in the desert. It starts near the beach, then winds up into the hills a bit before coming back down. There are 3 men waiting there just for me. A track guy and two mechanics. After a brief safety presentation just for me we get in the cars. My guide takes the lead.
He says to take it slow the first lap, don’t try and keep up with him. He would rather I get extra laps at the end than go balls out and wreck right away. That was a good plan, getting used to the car takes some time. After that first lap, he peeled off and came over the helmets built in coms “OK, you’re on your own. Have fun, you break it you buy it”. The clutch felt great. The shifter was very direct with do doubt if it was in gear or not. The subaru engine puts out around 180hp which is plenty, only a couple sections of track are big enough to go full speed anyway.
Two things hit me immediately. The ride was extremely smooth and the steering was very sensitive. With the baja suspension and the suspension seats, it was a bit surreal to see the tires up front bouncing over rocks and ruts and holes but not feel them through the chassis. No rattles. Nothing shaking lose. It was almost as smooth as my daily commute. The steering is hydraulically assisted. Even small inputs make the car change direction quickly, even on dirt. Those big BFG tires had plenty of grip fore and aft, never did it feel like I would get stuck, even with 2WD.
That was my first time driving a rear engine car. I now understand what snap oversteer is all about. If I hit the brakes while turning the ass would swing out wide, which induced a good pucker a few times. But after a few laps I was doing it for fun, sliding the car around even at low speeds. I never went more than 50mph or so, but it was a blast. I loved the helmet with built in radio and filtered air, even though it wasn’t necessary as the rain kept the dust way down.
The rain. I really wish I had take my gopro. As the showers rolled through I would have to wipe my visor off with my hands. The rain wasn’t constant, just a little sprinkle or shower for a minute or two here and there. But the scenery was spectacular. Coming down out of the hills I was facing the ocean. I saw multiple lightning strikes each lap, watched the dark clouds roll by to the north a bit. On two of the laps I saw humpback whales breaching and jumping out the water. It was surreal to be honest.
After my last lap, as soon as I jump out of the car they hand me a Pacifico. I couldn’t accurately tell them how much I had enjoyed myself, I was in a bit of shock really. They might have thought I was unimpressed with how quiet I was, but I just couldn’t find the words. I have only ever driven on two tracks, this one and the Nurburgring. Honestly I don’t know which was better.