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Getting schooled at the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Experience

Thu, 04 Mar 2010

You don't need snow or ice to enjoy the thrills of sliding an all-wheel-drive car sideways, as evidenced by a day at the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Experience at Infineon Raceway. The class, operated by the instructors of the Jim Russell USA Racing Drivers School, involves time on coned-lined paddock courses and a large skid pad. But the real fun comes when you put what you've learned to good use on one of the country's most fun racetracks, the 2.52-mile 12-turn Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.

The Evo X is a natural car choice for the class, as it shares the same engine that powers the Jim Russell FJR-50 race car at the heart of the school's advanced race-driver training.

Students tackle various exercises concentrating on car control in extreme situations. Running an hourglass shaped course around barriers on a skid pad was one of our favorites, using a "Scandinavian flick" to get the car's balance shifted to begin a large, loopy powerslide. After a couple of tries before mastering the task, thoughts of WRC glory danced through our brains--right up to and including shredding the front Continentals off the car in the process.

The Russell instructors are knowledgeable, friendly and patient. Nearly the entire day is spent behind the wheel of an Evo, so seat time is maximized. The added plus is getting to lap Infineon in a lead-follow fashion, which is worth the $995 price. Visit to find out more.

Watch video of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Experience training below:

By Roger Hart