We got tipped off to this video by Jet Hot High Performance Coating’s Cheryl Herrick who is the woman that deftly wheels the company’s Chevy II at events like the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational, Goodguys Autocross events, and a host of other great pro touring battles across the country each year. She’s dedicated to making herself a better driver and getting faster each time on the course and part of that learning curve has been getting instruction from top shelf drivers like Mike Skeen. Well, as luck would have it, Skeen’s got an active YouTube channel and you can follow a lot of his racing adventures by keeping an eye on it. This video was posted by Mike and it is in-car action from the recent Pirelli World Challenge GT race held on the famous Long Beach Grand Prix road course. Mike is piloting an Audi R8 in this race and to say that the action is hot and heavy would really be an understatement. It is car and mouse on this tight course the entire time.
Skeen ended up with a sixth place finish at this race after qualifying 9th. As you will see, the GT cars did not have a whole bunch of room to work on this historically nip and tuck street course. There aren’t that many passing zones and sometimes you just have to make your own. If there is one thing that this video gave us an acute appreciation of it is the amount of sustained abuse that road racing cars like Mike’s R8 have to live through over the course of an event. From the amount of on and off the throttle, the amount of shifting, and the amount of work the suspension is doing, it is no wonder that so many car companies still see value in road racing for developmental and R&D reasons.
So who/what was Skeen racing against? Well in his class there are Vipers, Ferraris, Aston Martins, Cadillac CTS-Vs, Porsches, McLarens, etc. This is a course full of insanely expensive, insanely fine tuned, and insanely well matched road racing iron. Small mistakes become glaring ones very quickly and as you will see, great drivers take advantage of them!
Press play below to watch the video!