On Sunday July 9th 2017 I participated in the Ultimate Road Rally Track Day and CarBQ. While the URR rallies are great fun, I really look forward to this track event each year. Held at Autobahn Country Club in Joliet IL., this event always draws incredible exotics and supercars for a chance to take them out on the track where they belong.
Morning Track Day
The event started out at Autobahn Country Club for 4 hours of track time. As the name implies, the Autobahn Country Club is one of the premier road racing tracks in the country. The grounds are very nice and everything is done first class – like a country club.
A nice breakfast awaited us and was capped off with a drivers meeting before heading out on track. There were 3 run groups covering novice, intermediate and advanced drivers. Driving instructors were also available making this a very inviting time for someone to get their feet wet out on the road course.
URR Attracts The Best Exotics & Supercars
Some of the amazing cars that attended included a couple Ferrari 458’s, McLaren 650S, Viper ACR & a Twin Turbo ALPHA 10 Audi R8. But even a line up like this was nothing compared to the star of the show…
The Star Of URR – A Ferrari F40!
Like most car guys my age, I had a poster of this iconic Ferrari in my bedroom growing up. Normally the place you might see an F40, if your even that lucky, is in a climate controlled garage. My day was made just to see the car pull into the Autobahn pit area at the start of the event.
Out On Track In The F40
Seeing the F40 out on track was the highlight of the morning for most of the URR participants including me. Checking Facebook it was all over my newsfeed. My day got infinitely better when I got the chance to RIDE in the Ferrari F40 out on track for the last session of the morning. This was my childhood dream car and a once in a lifetime experience.
The car was much better out on track than I expected. I’ve been out on track in some amazing cars like my most recent ride in a McLaren 650S, so I wasn’t sure how a 27 year old F40 would compare. After carefully figuring out how to get into the car, I strapped myself in and we headed down the pit road.
First thing I can tell you is if you are more than 5’8″ this car is too small. I felt wedged in but I wasn’t going to let that spoil my dream. The 2.9L Twin Turbo V-8 puts out only 478HP, which by todays standards isn’t that great. Like any late 80’s to early 90’s turbocharged car the turbos were a bit laggy and then come on like a ton of bricks but it wasn’t quite as bad as I anticipated.
It handled amazingly well for a nearly 30 year old car. Truly a very capable car even by todays standards. The car was so analog, the type of car that will kill you if you aren’t careful. I LOVED it!
Group Drive To Iron Gate Motor Condos
After the morning out on track, participants headed North for a quick 40 mile rally up to Iron Gate Motor Condos in Naperville. I was on cloud 9 after my ride out on track in the F40. But wait, it gets better.
On The Road In The F40
My friend Rick with the F40 didn’t have a co-pilot for the drive up to the CarBQ. Being so selfless I offered my services as a passenger, tossed the keys to my E63 AMG to my friend Ben and off we went.
The reactions to the F40 were pretty funny out on the road. Either people didn’t notice the car at all or when someone recognized it, their face lit up, they honked and were taking pictures of us on the road with no concern of anything else.
The car was rock solid without a creak or a hiccup. With just 11,000 miles on the odometer I guess that’s what you’d expect but it is a factory race car. And this car makes no attempt at being anything other than what it is. It’s as spartan inside as they come. But again, 30 years ago it wasn’t easy making a 200mph car from the factory so it’s as purpose-built as they come.
At the Iron Gate Motor Condos in Naperville a gourmet lunch awaited us at the Chicago Motor Cars garage. Prime rib sliders, Polish sausage, grilled chicken sandwiches, grilled cheese and rosemary potato salad were on the menu and provided by Terrell Cole from Dark Horse Pastries.
URR Mechanical Bull Ride
In addition Omar Salaymeh, the president of the Ultimate Road Rally had a little something more planned for us. He had rented a mechanical bull and organized a bull riding competition for the URR participants. A $20 buy-in with a winner-takes-all pot.
Video by Kyro Creative
URR Sets The Standard For The Ultimate Track Day Event
In all, it was a fantastic day with friends and amazing vehicles. What makes the annual URR Track Day so great in my opinion is the exclusivity. Normally when you go to a track day its a mixed bag of cars and far too many of them. These events are often scary to take a really nice car to because there are always so many out on track. The traffic is heavy and the likelihood of a crash goes up substantially.
Omar prides his brand on doing everything first class. Knowing his clients are particular about their cars he limits his track event to just 30 cars. Split that into 3 different run groups and there is more than enough space to safely run the most expensive cars you can imagine.
Other things like a nice catered breakfast, a gift bag and driving instructors only add to the exclusivity. To top things off Omar also hired the team at JR Photon to capture amazing pictures of the event for participants to have something to remember their day.
And thats just the track portion of the URR Track Day. The 40 mile rally, CarBQ and mechanical bull challenge only topped off a great day. Alas, he only does the track day once a year so looks like I’ll be eagerly awaiting the 2018 event!
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Photos by JR Photon