The Battle Of Shenandoah


A few months ago, Larry Webster and I borrowed a McLaren 570S and an Audi R8 V10 Plus. We took them to Summit Point’s Shenandoah racetrack, where I had a chance to explore the outer limits of the risks I was willing to take in a quarter-million-dollar car. Take a quick read and find out how to make an Audi leave the ground at a takeoff speed well above that of many light aircraft. Safe landing not guaranteed.

15 Replies to “The Battle Of Shenandoah”

  1. Joe

    Great article, love the aviation references, liked the description of the video game tablet view of the track, in aviation, there is a saying about glass cockpits, the big picture is outside the window! When I go flying, I have wings!

  2. Robert

    “…the R8 leaped from the ground. And it yawed in midair. Nothing to do for the moment but let my hands and arms relax in anticipation of the landing, which was going to be somewhere between hairy and unrecoverable.”

    When that happens on a motocross bike, you turn the bars in the direction the bike is going and land with the throttle on. What are you supposed to do in a car?

  3. -Nate

    Thank you for this Jack ~

    Even if I ever had the chance to drive these cars I’d not have the skillset so enjoying them vicariously via your writing is nice .


  4. Graham

    Great piece. Any hope that the 570GT will have a less lamentable interior?

    Did you mean to use “relative” instead of “relive” here? I can’t see relive being used in this manner: “As we’ll see, both “relaxed” and “affordable” are relive terms. “

  5. DirtRoads

    The FW-190 references reminded me of Bob Johnson’s classic, “Thunderbolt” story where in that book he was limping home in a battered P-47 and a 190 came up beside him. The pilot saluted, then pulled in behind him and started strafing the ’47. With those dinky .30 cal bullets, the ’47 didn’t give up. God bless self sealing tanks the P-47 had at the time, I remember him saying.

    Bob had a little ammo left, and he managed to drop gear (and flaps? if I recollect correctly); the 190 overflew him. He got in behind the 190 and gave him a few rounds of M2 Browning .50 cal. I don’t remember the whole outcome, but Bob made it home. Hell, I read that book 40 years ago.

    Anyway, I’m glad the McLaren came out on top. German machines don’t have the soul of British or Italian machines. They are spartan in comparison. They do the job, but they don’t love you. imho

    • Disinterested-Observer

      MY P-47 is a pretty good ship
      And she took a round coming cross the Channel last trip
      I was thinking ’bout my baby and letting her rip
      Always got me through so far

  6. One Leg at a Time

    Johnny-come-lately to this post (as usual), but that was a great read.

    I would like to nominate “One gets the impression that McLaren’s idea of “everyday usability” is something like Liberace’s idea of “restrained and tasteful”; you can only understand it in the context of the firm’s other products.” as Jack’s best sentence of the year.

    Mr. Baruth, if you ever have need to come to southwest Indiana; you will drink free on that line alone…


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