Although there was no turbo, the 300 horsepower from the N/A Ford engine was plenty to toss the car around and my background in drifting was an instant pay off. The full sequential gear box took a little bit of getting used to – it was the first time I drove a car with a gearbox like that. After a few laps I felt right at home and was starting to wish my drift car had a sequential gearbox in it.
|Kyle debriefs after his second session with the Olsberg's MSE crew. The level of technology in the Lites cars, such as the unlocking rear differential, impressed Mohan.|
The Lites car’s feel and balance was extremely neutral, allowing the driver to have a lot of fun. The mid-engine layout meant it put the power down to the ground really well. When pulling the e-brake – something that I’m definitely used to – I was told that I didn’t need to push in the clutch. The rear differential would automatically unlock, allowing for faster transitions and less power loss, another great example of the technology in these cars.
We got three sessions in the car. In the first session, Olsbergs' driver Patrik Sandell rode along with us to make sure we knew what we were doing and wouldn’t crash. After that, he got out and we were able to attack the course on our own and start to push things. The dirt section was tricky, I had never driven on dirt before and the car felt numb – no matter what we did it just felt slow. I worked on using the e-brake and kicking the clutch to rotate it better. The dirt section led onto the longest straightaway, so coming out of it fast was key to a good lap time – but they weren’t doing any timing and scoring so I was just using my shift points down the straightaway as a gauge.
|Mohan and Andreas Eriksson debrief after the test. Who thinks Kyle, with his Formula Drift background, would win races in the GRC Lites class?|
Speaking with Tanner, who was there, he gave me some pointers and on my last session I was able to get through the dirt section, as well as a fast sweeper, much better. Watching Tanner you could see how aggressive he was on the street tires that the Lites cars were on, but it required a certain kind of balance. You had to be aggressive but not so aggressive that you over-rotated the car and asked too much of the tires.
The Olsbergs MSE crew was really professional and you can see why Andreas’s teams and cars are so good. His feedback was really helpful given the limited number of laps that we got. Driving the Lites cars was truly amazing and I would love the opportunity to run a few events at some time.